The new Director-General of the World Trade Organization Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is making green revolution one of her top priorities.
At the first virtual meeting of WTO members on a new initiative aimed at advancing work on trade and environmental sustainability on March 5, Okonjo-Iweala made clear trade and environmental sustainability go hand in hand.
She told participants the initiative is in line with the WTO’s founding principle of promoting sustainable development.
“I have said that to remain relevant, the WTO needs to deliver results,” she declared. “And looking to the future, we have to see how we can harness the power of trade to help us have a healthy environment.”
The Nigerian economist added that “trade policies can help unlock the green investment and innovation needed to decarbonize our economies and create the jobs of the future.”
Launched last November by 53 WTO members, the Trade And Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions (TESSD) are intended to complement the existing work of the Committee on Trade and Environment and other relevant WTO committees and bodies.
The initiative is open to all WTO members and will also involve outreach to representatives from the business community, civil society, international organizations, and academic institutions.
The Participants outlined their views on what the priority issues for discussion should be and what concrete outcomes could be delivered at the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference and beyond.