Climate Ministers on the role of trade policy in accelerating climate action


Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability (ACCTS): Climate Ministers issue a joint statement in the margins of COP26, Glasgow, November 2021

We, the Climate Ministers from Costa Rica, Fiji, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland met today at COP26 to discuss progress in negotiations for the Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability (ACCTS), and to continue outreach on its aims with the climate change community.  We reaffirm our Joint Statement issued at COP25.

We note the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group 1 Report findings.  In particular, that “immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions” to emissions are needed if we are to halve emissions by 2030 compared to the 1990 levels.  Such reductions are critical to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and to keep the global temperature below 1.5°C degrees.

Now against the backdrop of COP26 – we once again jointly express our strong support for the ACCTS initiative, which is a practical example of countries taking urgent climate action. The initiative demonstrates leadership in increasing alignment and mutual responsiveness of trade and climate policy responses. The impetus to get these global policy settings right is heightened in the current COVID-19 environment. Governments around the world are rolling out economic recovery plans and extensive support measures with potentially wide-ranging and long lasting implications for global emissions and trade. The aim of the ACCTS initiative is to demonstrate that trade rules and policies can be mutually-supportive of trade, sustainable development and climate objectives.

We welcome progress in the six rounds of negotiations to date, as outlined in the Joint Trade Ministers Statement, issued on 6 October 2021.

We express our determination to maintain ambition in the negotiations to maximise their potential climate impact in support of the Paris Agreement’s aims.

Given the urgency of the climate challenge, we also underscore the importance of concluding the Agreement as soon as possible.  This will allow membership of the ACCTS to expand to any WTO Member willing to meet the standards it contains, thereby expanding coverage of global GHG emissions and trade, and building to multilateral outcomes over time. This will ultimately contribute to our COP26 host’s message of “uniting the world to tackle climate change”.


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