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Trade | 29 October 2021

Joint letter to the European Commission: Trade and Sustainable Development Review

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Joint letter to the European Commission: Trade and Sustainable Development Review

In a joint letter to the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, we detail key reforms that we deem necessary for a better incorporation of sustainability objectives and ambitious innovation, both within and beyond Trade and Sustainable Development chapters.

With the Green Deal and its related strategies such as Farm to Fork, the EU has demonstrated high ambition in the fields of the environment, climate and animal welfare. It is thus essential to ensure that the EU trade policy is consistent with the objectives listed by the EU in these fields. There is, for instance, no genuine ambition in striving to reduce intra-European emissions if the EU's carbon footprint - that is, the emissions contained in imported products - continues to grow. The same goes with improving animal welfare standards within the EU, while externalising animal welfare concerns by simply importing lower welfare products.

The EU is responsible for the environmental and social impacts its consumption generates in third countries. Aligning EU trade policy with the EU's commitments not only implies trying to maximise the positive effects of trade, but also requires changing the rules governing trade to prevent and mitigate the negative impacts it has globally. The EU needs to maintain the leadership in upholding and developing high environmental and animal welfare standards.

Read the full briefing here