World Environment Day: Sustainable trade after COVID-19: Can we do better?

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges to the international community but it also offers an unique window of opportunity to rebuild economies in a way that recognizes and reinforces the close links between human wellbeing and a healthy environment. Trade and trade policies can help societies fulfill their needs and aspirations in the post-COVID-19 era by helping steer the economic recovery onto a more sustainable and resilient track. But ensuring that trade plays this role requires countries to step up cooperation, not least at the WTO, and coordinate efforts to ensure that trade policies are fit for purpose and coherent with broader efforts to rebuild efficiently.

This event, convened by H.E. Mr Chad Blackman with the support of the WTO Secretariat on the occasion of World Environment Day 2020, will bring together perspectives from government, business and international organizations on the following key questions: What is the role of sustainable trade after COVID-19? How can global supply chains be rendered both greener and more resilient to environmental and other shocks? What concrete action could WTO members consider to support and facilitate efforts to rebuild economies in line with theSustainable Development Goals?

Special World Environment Day Message by:

Mia Mottley

Prime Minister of Barbados

Message from:

Roberto Azevêdo

WTO Director-General


Ambassador Chad Blackman

Permanent Representative of Barbados to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva and Chair of the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment

Ambassador Andrew Staines

Deputy Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the WTO and other International Organizations in Geneva

Diane Holdorf

Managing Director, Food and Nature, World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Steven Stone

Chief, Market and Resources Branch, Economy Division, United Nations Environment Programme

Daphne Ewing-Chow

Senior Contributor, Forbes

Céline Charveriat

Executive Director, Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP)

Carolyn Deere Birkbeck

Senior Researcher, Graduate Institute


Aik Hoe Lim

Director, Trade and Environment Division, WTO


If you wish to participate in the debate, please email us your questions in real time at [email protected].

A recording will be made available after the event.



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