24 June 2021

Greening Aid for Trade and the SDGs

As governments and stakeholders work to develop policies that can promote the massive economic transformation that sustainability requires, there is increasing interest in the role that trade and trade policy can play. This effort has become even more urgent in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and calls to “build back better” through stimulus and recovery packages.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) highlight trade as a key means of implementation, and many SDGs have trade dimensions. Progress on achieving the SDGs and their underlying targets has been slow, however, despite public pressure for increased action by governments to respond to urgent global crises in biodiversity, climate, and pollution, and to take action to “green” the global economy and trade.

The World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) “Aid for Trade Initiative” is one area where this discussion is developing quickly. As WTO Members review progress to date and prepare the Aid for Trade work program from 2022 onward, ensuring that these efforts incorporate sustainability considerations will be critical to ensuring a robust, green, and inclusive recovery.

In this context, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the Forum on Trade, Environment & the SDGs (TESS), held a joint webinar on Greening Aid for Trade and the SDGs on June 24, 2021, at 3:30 p.m. CEST.

The event introduced a new joint publication (forthcoming) by IISD and TESS on Greening Aid for Trade. The publication presents a systematic approach on policies and perspectives on Greening aid for trade and the SDGs, which was presented by Carolyn Deere Birkbeck. This was followed by a discussion on,

  • Aid for trade and its existing environmental dimensions
  • Have environmental considerations been considered in aid for trade?
  • Relevance of green aid for trade and what is need to make it happen, opportunities, risks and challenges
  • Trade and environment challenges that could be addressed through green aid for trade and green recovery
  • Example of Green aid for trade: How Sustainable transport and infrastructure can achieve SDGs?
  • How Green aid for trade can support MSMEs in competing in markets?
  • How environmental sustainability support trade policies and opportunities?

Greening Aid for Trade and the SDGs

You can view this video of the webinar on greening aid for trade and the SDGs co-organized by IISD and TESS.

In collaboration with