USCIB and the Green Economies Dialogue initiative presented a Working Session on trade and development in Geneva on October 2 at the World Trade Organization 2014 Public Forum titled “The Role of Trade in the Post 2015 Development Agenda: Greening Growth and Disseminating Solutions – A Green Economies Dialogue Initiative Discussion.”
This year’s WTO Public Forum theme is “How Trade Benefits Everyone.” USCIB’s Working Session presented perspectives on trade as a vehicle for technological innovation, global value chains, job creation and environmental solutions, all as they relate to the U.N. Post 2015 Development Agenda over the next year and half. Discussions highlighted the potential benefits and contributions that multilateral trade systems and approaches can deliver in developed and developing countries, especially through private sector technology and expertise relevant to environmental challenges via trade.
According to keynote speaker Christopher Wilson, deputy chief of the US Mission to the WTO, “for the U.S. Government, the crafting of a UN Post-2015 Development Agenda represents, we hope, a new opportunity to build bridges, reduce ideologically-driven divergences, and find common ground on the basis of facts, data and experience.” He went on to reflect on how new trade-led initiatives on green, sustainable growth – such as the Environmental Goods Agreement — can contribute to this important global effort.
Brian Flannery, chair of the Green Economies Dialogue, noted that “trade and investment will be key enablers of the deployment of innovative technologies that will be essential to make progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, so it is essential to find ways to unlock that potential.” The GED is currently developing peer-reviewed material and holding additional business-government dialogue sessions on business issues and priorities in the UN Post 2015 Development Agenda.
In July, USCIB joined with other business groups to form the Coalition for Green Trade, a group that represents a broad range of companies and associations that seek to remove global trade barriers to environmental technologies. USCIB also signed an open letter to WTO negotiators along with businesses from around the world calling for the swift passage of the Environmental Goods Agreement. On September 17, the Coalition for Green Trade hosted an event on Capitol Hill to celebrate the launch of the EGA negotiations in Geneva.
Other speakers at the GED working session included:
- James Bacchus, chair of the International Chamber of Commerce Trade and Investment Commission
- Brian Fisher, managing director, BAE Economics
- Orit Frenkel, senior manager for international trade and investment, General Electric
- Norine Kennedy, vice president for strategic international engagement, energy and environment, USCIB
- Steven Stone, head of the Trade and Economy Division, UN Environment Programme
Staff contact: Norine Kennedy