24 April 2024

Opportunities for Cooperation on Trade and the INC: Insights from the WTO Dialogue on Plastic Pollution and National Experiences

This event seeks to highlight opportunities for cooperation on trade and plastic pollution, sharing insights from the work of the WTO Dialogue on Plastic Pollution (DPP), including recent developments such as the MC13 Ministerial Statement, lessons about compatibility of multilateral environment agreements (MEAs) and WTO rules, and national experiences that can inform and support the work of the INC.

Plastics are ubiquitous in international trade. Ending plastic pollution will require states to cooperate across international supply chains and to promote sustainability in trade across the life cycle of plastics.

For several years, plastic pollution has been a topic of discussion at the WTO in the context of the DPP. The Dialogue has generated a range of insights, lessons, and evidence on the relevance of trade and trade measures to ending plastic pollution and on sustainable development considerations. It has also shed light on the array of trade-related measures that a diversity of WTO members are taking to achieve the national plastic pollution reduction goals.

The MC13 Ministerial Statement of the DPP identifies a number of topics on which sponsors agreed cooperation is needed, including through collective, and individual action on a voluntary basis. Alongside, there are lessons to be learned from trade-related action on plastic pollution in the context of MEAs, such as the Basel Convention, among others.

This event will highlight the range of governments taking trade-related action and measures as part of their efforts to tackle plastic pollution, and enable delegates and stakeholders to share views on how cooperation on trade is relevant to the effectiveness of treaty, promoting sustainable development and fostering just transitions.


Welcome & Introduction

Dominic Coppens, Senior Advisor, TESS & Professor of International Economic Law, Maastricht University (moderator)

The WTO Dialogue on Plastics Pollution: What are the latest developments and what has been learned that can inform the INC process?

Representatives of the DPP Co-coordinators (Australia, Barbados, China, Ecuador, Fiji and Morocco).

  • Jovan Reid, Deputy Chief of Mission, Permanent Mission of Barbados to the United Nations at Nairobi
  • Xiaohui Zhang, Contact Point for the DPP, Permanent Mission of China to the WTO
  • Representative, Ecuador
Lessons and existing experiences on compatibility of multilateral environment agreements and WTO rules: Key principles and examples
  • Daniel Ramos, Secretary, Dialogue on Plastic Pollution, Trade and Environment Division, WTO
  • Kei Ohno Woodall, Coordination Officer, Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions
Synopsis of key trade and supply chain issues relevant for international cooperation in the treaty
  • Simón Ardila Eraso, Policy and Research Associate, TESS
Reflections: National experiences & stakeholder views on key trade-related options, challenges, and considerations for attention in the INC process
  • Chantal Line Carpentier, Head, Trade, Environment, Climate Change, and Sustainable Development Branch, UNCTAD
  • Jodie Roussell, Nestlé and member, Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty
  • Representative of The Pew Charitable Trusts