This workshop focused on key issues related to Regional Trade Agreements (RTA) and the environment. It had three main objectives: (i) to take stock of current experience and insights on RTAs and the environment from different stakeholders, and to establish a stakeholder dialogue on this topic, (ii) to investigate how RTAs can serve as a vehicle to advance a resource efficient and circular economy transition, and (iii) to explore the potential of RTAs in addressing the nexus of illegal trade and environmental crime. It was organised under the auspices of the OECD Joint Working Party on Trade and Environment (JWPTE) with financial support from the European Union.
Moderator: Joe Ferrante, US Environmental Protection Agency and JWPTE Vice Chair
Moderator: Shardul Agrawala, OECD Environment Directorate
Moderator: Mari Carlson, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
Moderator: Louis Marechal, Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, OECD
Moderator: Xavier Jardi, Ministry of the Economy and Finance, France
This multi-stakeholder event was joined by 127 experts in the field of trade and environment from OECD and invited partner governments, international organisations, academia, the private sector and civil society.
Environmental considerations are increasingly incorporated into RTAs to promote a broad range of environmental objectives and to ensure the mutual supportiveness of trade and environmental policies between like-minded Parties.
According to the TREND database, 1629 out of 730 agreements signed between 1947 and 2018 include some kind of reference to the environment. Parties aiming towards deeper economic integration increasingly include substantive environmental provisions in their RTAs to advance on a range of environmental policy goals. Since 2005, the OECD Joint Working Party on Trade and Environment (JWPTE) has been investigating the trends of environmental provisions in RTAs and their effects on the environment.
As a parallel effort under the auspices of the JWPTE, the OECD has been organising a number of workshops on RTAs and the environment to establish dialogue on this issue by inviting participants from both OECD and non-OECD countries. The first workshop was organised in Paris in 2006 and was followed by several other workshops hosted in: Tokyo, Japan (2007); Santiago, Chile (2008 and 2018); Paris, France (2010 and 2016); and Hanoi, Vietnam (2014). This was the first workshop held completely online.
For more information, please contact Shunta Yamaguchi (Shunta.Yamaguchi@oecd.org) or Valentina Beomonte Zobel (Valentina.Beomontezobel@oecd.org), Environment and Economy Integration Division at the OECD Environment Directorate.