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Parliamentary question - P-004439/2021(ASW)Parliamentary question

Answer given by Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis on behalf of the European Commission

The EU has been a long-standing promoter of mutual support between trade and sustainable development and climate objectives. The EU is pursuing an ambitious agenda in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal both in the EU’s bilateral free trade agreements (FTA) and in the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

While the direct participation in the ongoing negotiations for an Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability is restricted to the original group of countries, the Commission has engaged with the participants to understand its objectives and scope.

In line with the Trade Policy Review Communication[1] and its annex, the Commission wants sustainability to be part of the WTO reform agenda. To this end, it is pursuing several work strands to support the objectives of the EU in tackling climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution as well as transition towards a resource efficient and circular economy. The EU and like-minded WTO members issued plurilateral statements on environmental sustainability as well as on fossil fuel subsidy reform[2]. The aim is to enhance cooperation on environmentally sustainable trade, including on the environmental effects and trade impacts of subsidies and the role of the WTO in addressing these.

The Commission also aims to have ambitious Trade and sustainable development chapters in EU FTAs where Parties shall work together to strengthen their cooperation on trade-related aspects of climate change policies and engage on cross-cutting climate and environment issues, including on fossil fuels subsidies reform. Negotiations with New Zealand on these provisions are ongoing.

Last updated: 21 January 2022
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