International trade offers unique opportunities to help tackle mounting environmental challenges while fostering economic and social prosperity. Open, predictable and equitable trade relations among countries can accelerate the worldwide diffusion of environmentally sound technological solutions and facilitate the creation and expansion of markets for sustainable products. Moreover, with the growing impacts of climate change and resource scarcity – felt in varying magnitudes across different parts of the world – trade has an important role to play in strengthening environmental resilience. This co-publication by the World Trade Organization and UN Environment looks at the interplay between trade and the environment and identifies ways to ensure that trade and a healthy environment reinforce each other. It highlights the need for coordinated action, along with fit-for-purpose policies and institutions, to expand the contribution of trade for a better and more resilient environment. It illustrates how the World Trade Organization and UN Environment are working together to support countries in identifying opportunities to use trade proactively to promote sustainability and prosperity, and to strengthen international co-operation to deliver benefits for all.
United Nations Environment Programme