Joint Ministers’ Statement announcement underlines need for urgent climate action.

We, the Climate Change Ministers of the Governments of Costa Rica, Fiji, Iceland, New Zealand and Norway, reaffirm the ‘Joint Leaders’ Statement on the launch of the ‘Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability’ Initiative’, issued on 25 September 2019 in New York USA.

The Joint Leaders’ Statement announcing the launch of the ACCTS initiative was made against the backdrop of the UN Climate Action Summit, which underlined the need for urgent climate action. Now, against the backdrop of COP25 – themed “Time for Action” – we jointly express our strong support for the ACCTS initiative.

We believe the ACCTS initiative will strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, and support the Paris Agreement’s aims. The ACCTS initiative will apply trade rules and trade-related measures to contribute to the global efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels; the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and fostering climate resilience; and making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development. The outcome should ensure mutual supportiveness between trade and environment policies. ACCTS will also recognise the particular challenge faced by Small Island Developing Countries and their vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.

The ACCTS will achieve this through the following measures such as:

  • the removal of tariffs on environmental goods and the establishment of new commitments for environmental services;
  • the establishment of disciplines to eliminate harmful fossil fuel subsidies; and
  • the development of guidelines to inform the development and implementation of voluntary eco-labelling programmes and mechanisms.

This treaty-level instrument will be open to other countries to accede to in the future if they are able to meet its obligations.

Our aim and intention is that ACCTS will demonstrate in a concrete and substantive manner how trade and trade policy can support climate, environmental and sustainable development objectives and provide momentum towards an eventual multilateral set of outcomes.