In today’s integrated global economy, addressing transboundary environmental challenges like climate change requires coherent trade policy approaches and international cooperation. Achieving the Paris Agreement’s climate goals will entail important shifts in economic activity, production practices, and trade. It will also demand a focus on a just transition, especially for developing and least developed countries, including a just transition to sustainable trade.
Governments have at their disposal a wide range of trade and trade-related policy tools to influence production and consumption patterns in support of climate mitigation and adaptation. This policy brief explores the relationship between trade, climate change, and sustainable development, and the potential for trade policies to help address the climate crisis in the context of international cooperation at the World Trade Organization. It looks at how and where these issues have been discussed in the multilateral trading system and suggests possible options for meaningful cooperation.