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Abstract

The 2020 WTO Ministerial Conference in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan, is a critical opportunity for WTO Member States to signal high-level political commitment to a multilateral trading system that better supports environmental sustainability. In Nur Sultan, WTO Member States should adopt a Ministerial Statement on Environment and Trade that bolsters existing work and updates their shared agenda to reflect contemporary environmental concerns. The SDGs and developing country priorities must be at the heart of this renewed environment and trade agenda. At the Ministerial Conference, like-minded WTO Members should also announce special joint initiatives on topics of shared interest, such as the climate crisis and plastic pollution. At a time of uncertainty about the WTO's role and relevance, political momentum on environmental sustainability could help build public confidence in the multilateral trading system’s ability to deliver on its core objective of sustainable development.

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