Direction de l'Environnement

OECD Workshop on Regional Trade Agreements and the Environment, 10-11 June 2021


good logo rta workshop



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.            


Documents and presentations


Day 1: Thursday, 10 June 2021


Opening remarks and introduction
  • Rodolfo Lacy, OECD Environment Director
  • Alejandra Aguilar, JWPTE Co-Chair

Session 1 - Overview and recent developments on regional trade agreements and the environment

Moderator: Joe Ferrante, US Environmental Protection Agency and JWPTE Vice Chair 


Session 2 - RTAs as a vehicle to advance a resource efficient and circular economy transition
Session 2.1 - Reflecting resource efficiency and circular economy objectives in regional trade agreements

Moderator: Shardul Agrawala, OECD Environment Directorate


Session 2 - Continued
Session 2.2 - Regional perspectives and insights 

Moderator: Mari Carlson, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland



Day 2: Friday, 11 June 2021


Session 3 - Potential of RTAs in addressing the nexus of illegal trade of environmental crime
Session 3.1 - The nexus of Illegal trade and environmental crime - state of play

Moderator: Louis Marechal, Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, OECD



Session 3 - Continued
Session 3.2 - Possibilities to use RTAin adressing the nexus of illegal trade and environmental crime

Moderator: Xavier Jardi, Ministry of the Economy and Finance, France



  • Javier Arribas-Quintana, DG Environment, European Commission (insights on regional iniatives to secure sustainable supply chains) 

Summing up and next steps
  • Shardul Agrawala, OECD Environment Directorate 
  • Brett Longley, JWPTE Co-Chair



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.


Further readings


Contact Us

For more information, please contact Shunta Yamaguchi ([email protected]) or Valentina Beomonte Zobel ([email protected]), Environment and Economy Integration Division at the OECD Environment Directorate.


Related links


Documents connexes