Briefings Towards a fair and strategic trade and climate policy


Towards a fair and strategic trade and climate policy

This report from the UK Climate and Trade Commission calls for Government-led change so that trade policy helps to deliver COP27 promises.

Read the press release

This Policy Brief is a synthesis of individual and group discussions amongst the UK Climate and Trade Commissioners. It reflects the rich discussions and, where necessary, explains the range of views held on a topic.

As efforts to fight climate change reach into every aspect of policy making, governments around the world are beginning to turn their attention to the connection between trade and climate change. This is welcome as the area has long been overlooked, and it is vital that trade policy is coherent with climate objectives.

But, as with all trade policy, this is a complex area and there is a danger that this new-found enthusiasm for using trade as a climate lever can lead to policies that are either little more than climate window dressing or that neglect important principles of justice, development and multilateralism. The United Kingdom (UK) is in a unique position to avoid these errors. It is in the process of building a new trade policy and has an unprecedented degree of autonomy in how it goes about this. Given the UK’s strong development expertise, its commitment to the multilateral trading system and its convening power, it has an opportunity to chart a new course where fighting climate change is a central part of UK trade policy and to champion an approach that is fair as well as effective.

The UK Climate and Trade Commission is a short-term project established by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and the Trade Justice Movement (TJM) bringing together a group of experts to discuss the intersection between trade and climate change and jointly develop practical proposals for the UK government.


trade and climate change Trade and Climate Change Commission trade and climate ISDS climate action Climate targets