About

On 10 March, the New Zealand Embassy and SEI will host a seminar on trade policy, climate change and sustainable development. The event will begin with keynote addresses by ministers and representatives from the Swedish, New Zealand and British governments, hearing about their respective priorities for climate change, trade and sustainable development. Two high-level panel discussions will follow on Promoting fossil fuel subsidy reform and The role of carbon border adjustments.

Through this event we hope to bring together agendas on trade and climate change to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The programme

13.00-13.10 Welcome and opening, Ambassador Andrew Jenks, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Åsa Persson, Deputy Director, SEI

13.10-13.30 Swedish priorities for climate change, trade and sustainable development, Krister Nilsson, State Secretary, Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs

13.30-13.50 The Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainable Development, Sara Meymand, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

13.50.-14.10 The United Kingdom’s priorities for WTO MC12 and UNFCCC COP26, Senior Representative, UK COP 26 delegation (TBC)

14.15-14.30 Break

14.30-15.45 Promoting fossil fuel subsidy reform, moderated by Jakob Skovgaard, Associate Professor, Lund University

Panelists:

  • Joy Aeree Kim, Programme Officer, Economic Research Unit, United Nations Environment Programme
  • Peter Wooders, Group Director, Energy, International Institute for Sustainable Development
  • Ronald Steenblik, Senior Fellow, International Institute for Sustainable Development

15.45-17.00 The role of carbon border adjustments, moderated by Robert Watt, Communications Director, SEI

Panelists:

  • Susanne Åkerfeldt, Senior Legal Adviser, Swedish Ministry of Finance
  • Harro van Asselt, Professor of Climate Law and Policy, University of Eastern Finland Law School; Associate, Stockholm Environment Institute
  • Peter Kleen, Senior Fellow, European Centre for International Political Economy

17.00 Reception

Background to the event

Climate change, trade, and sustainable development agendas are increasingly converging. Acknowledging the role of trade as an engine for sustainable development, countries have begun how new trade rules can be designed to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change. One example is the announced Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability (ACCTS), which will be negotiated between Costa Rica, Fiji, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland. At the same time, the role of trade policy is receiving mounting attention with decision-makers in different parts of the world considering the use of trade measures to achieve climate goals. Notably, the announcement by the new European Commission that it seeks to introduce a carbon border adjustment mechanism raises new questions about the role and implications of such measures and how their design could align with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

In the run-up to the next major climate summit in Glasgow, UK (COP26) in November, as well as the next Ministerial Conference of the WTO in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan (MC12) in June, this seminar will offer a timely opportunity to explore how the trade, climate change, and sustainable development agendas can be made mutually supportive.