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The COVID-19 pandemic poses both threats and opportunities for international efforts on trade and climate change issues. This crisis is forcing governments around the world to consider implementing wider circular economy policies, greening and localizing larger parts of the supply chain. The pandemic may also potentially lead to more stringently protectionist agendas. Governments are also currently responding to the pandemic with stimulus packages to address all affected areas in their economies, and in some cases these packages include energy pricing and fossil fuel subsidy reform. Due in part to the global lockdown, demand for oil reduced by more than 15 million bpd in April 2020. This resulted in the lowest energy prices the world has seen in decades, another important factor in today’s trade and climate considerations.

This webinar intends to discuss global trade policy responses to COVID-19, as well as the broader climate and environment policy discussions happening as a result of the crisis. The first session will provide a global perspective on current events worldwide and discuss examples of response measures taken by a number of specific governments. The second session will focus on the present current situations. The Friends for Advancing Sustainable Trade (FAST) and Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidies Reform (FFFSR) will also share their views along with suggestions for trade policy measures to support resilience from both a climate and pandemic perspective. 

Agenda and Speakers

Opening remarks
Peter Wooders (IISD, Senior Director, Energy)

Trade and protection during COVID
Aik Hoe Lim (WTO, Director, Trade and Environment Division)

Friends for Advancing Sustainable Trade (FAST)
Ana Lizano (Permanent Mission of Costa Rica to the WTO, Counsellor)

Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform & COVID
Mike Webb (Permanent Mission of New Zealand to the WTO, First Secretary)

Circular economy and Finland’s pandemic response
Malena Sell (Sitra, Senior Specialist, Circular Economy)

Discussion and Q&A on trade, climate and COVID implications
Speakers and discussant Carlos Vanderloo (Permanent Mission of Canada in Geneva, First Secretary), moderated by Alice Tipping (IISD, Lead, Fisheries Subsidies)

Practical information

Thursday, May 28 | 14:00 GMT

via Zoom


Please register here


This webinar is initiated by the the Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform (FFFsR). The FFFsR is an informal group of non-G20 countries aiming to build political consensus on the importance of fossil fuel subsidy reform.