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IISD Trade and Sustainability Review, Volume 2, Issue 1, March 2022

This edition of the IISD Trade and Sustainability Review features analysis on topics ranging from efforts to enhance inclusivity in trade policy to updates on key environmental initiatives taking place at the WTO and in Europe.

By Managing Editor: Jennifer Freedman on March 2, 2022


Where Do WTO Trade and Environmental Sustainability Initiatives Stand Today?

Written by Aik Hoe Lim, Daniel Ramos, and Gergana Kiskinova

Work within the WTO on trade and environmental sustainability has intensified in recent years, culminating in the launch of three ministerial statements on topics ranging from plastics pollution to fossil fuel subsidy reform. Aik Hoe Lim, Daniel Ramos, and Gergana Kiskinova from the Trade and Environment Division at the WTO outline the latest developments and discuss next steps. 

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ENVI Rapporteur’s Draft CBAM Report at Odds With Commission Plan on Key Points

Written by Aaron Cosbey

The rapporteur of the EU Parliament’s ENVI Committee has released a draft report on the European Commission’s proposal for a carbon border adjustment mechanism. IISD’s Aaron Cosbey discusses six ways the report differs from the Commission’s proposal—highlighting some of the thorniest issues to be resolved in finalizing such an instrument.

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The Role of Agricultural Trade in Reducing Inequality

Written by Ekaterina Krivonos

While international trade has fuelled economic growth and reduced poverty across the world in recent decades, its benefits are distributed unequally across and within countries. Ekaterina Krivonos from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations discusses how trade policy can help make trade more inclusive in the agricultural sector.

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Steering a More Inclusive Post-Pandemic Recovery: An interview with UNCTAD’s Rebeca Grynspan

Written by Jennifer Freedman

Rebeca Grynspan stepped into her role as UNCTAD’s secretary-general in the midst of the pandemic and has set her sights on ensuring the organization helps steer an “inclusive recovery from this very divisive crisis.” Jennifer Freedman, managing editor of IISD’s Trade and Sustainability Review, interviews Grynspan to find out more about her priorities for the coming years.

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We Must All Work Together to Ensure Gender Equality in Trade

Written by Harald Aspelund and Javier A. Gutiérrez

Progress has been made over the past three decades to address gender equality in trade policy debates. However, Harald Aspelund, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Iceland to the UN in Geneva, and Javier A. Gutiérrez from El Salvador’s Permanent Mission to the WTO in Geneva argue that to ensure sustained impact from these talks, we need to reframe gender equality as a common cause.

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Ending the WTO Dispute Settlement Crisis: Where to from here?

Written by Simon Lester

Many disputes between WTO members are in a state of limbo as the U.S. continues to block appointments to the body responsible for reviewing appeals. Simon Lester from WorldTradeLaw.net and China Trade Monitor outlines how and why the crisis has unfolded, and what needs to be done to move forward.

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Breathing Life Into the AfCFTA: Why the details matter

Written by Jamie MacLeod and David Luke

While many African leaders view the African Continental Free Trade Area as a tool for transformative growth in Africa, effective implementation has been elusive. Jamie MacLeod and David Luke from the London School of Economics discuss the barriers that need to be overcome to transform trade across the continent.

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Coming Next

Coming up in the next edition of IISD’s Trade and Sustainability Review: We’ll be interviewing Simon Manley, the United Kingdom’s Permanent Representative to the WTO and UN in Geneva and the new Chair of the WTO’s Committee on Trade and Environment.

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