This post is by Dr Carolyn Deere Birkbeck, director of the Forum on Trade, Environment and the SDGs (TESS) and senior research associate at the University of Oxford’s Global Economic Governance Programme.
The recent Green Trade report from the UK Board of Trade marks an important step in the development of the UK’s approach to international trade as it recognises the critical relevance of trade and trade policies to the big environmental challenges of our time.
This post is by Tom Wills, project manager – corporate accountability and trade at the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.
Last month, the European Union took a major step towards passing a new law to stop businesses from abusing human rights and destroying the environment around the world. The EU’s proposed ‘corporate due diligence’ law would help to tackle the widespread abuse of workers and the environment in the supply chains of European companies. This progress in Europe accentuates the failure of the UK government to take similar action.
This post is by Megan Waters, international trade advisor to WWF-UK and former US trade negotiator.
Last summer, the public in the UK – showing far more passion on the subject than many in Whitehall would have expected – spoke nearly with one voice on the subject of food. They made clear that they do not want food standards undermined as part of trade negotiations with the United States, or with anyone else for that matter.
This post is by Aradhna Tandon, policy assistant in the Greener UK unit at Green Alliance
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss announced recently that the UK had submitted its request to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a trade agreement between 11 countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The US played a central role in the initial negotiations but withdrew when it failed to gain domestic support to join the trading bloc.
This post is by Nandi Mkhize, programme officer and researcher in international trade and Brexit at ClientEarth and Anna Sands, trade policy specialist at WWF.
The UK is developing its new trade policy, amid fierce debate within the country and with trading partners about how it will enshrine environmental standards into law.
This post is by David Walsh, public affairs adviser for WWF UK and a contributor to Greener UK’s work on the Agriculture Bill.
The Agriculture Bill has finally completed its long, and at times tortuous, passage through parliament. For the past year, we’ve seen the debate focus on the effect of trade on agriculture, with millions of people signing petitions, tweeting and writing to their MPs. But, amongst this noise, it is important not to forget the fundamental principle of the bill: that public money should pay farmers to deliver public goods, which has remained at the heart of our future agriculture policy.
In 2018 I carried out a series of interviews with family farms in the North York Moors. I was researching what impact the twin changes of leaving the EU and transitioning to a ‘public money for public goods’ subsidy system could have on their lives. Those I visited welcomed me with open arms and, although many had struggled in recent times, they were keen to make the new system work. And we need this system to work. A new RSPB report reveals a “lost decade” for British wildlife. Restorative land use takes time, so we really don’t have many more opportunities to get it right.
It has been a trade-heavy summer, with the government busy negotiating trade deals, the Department for International Trade reviewing the way it engages with stakeholders and rumours that former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott could get a top UK trade role.
On Monday 20 July, Green Alliance hosted online the first major speech on the environment by the Rt Hon George Eustice MP, Defra secretary of state. You can read the full speech, watch the event on our YouTube channel or listen to the highlights on our podcast.
Here are reactions to what he said, on funding, the Environment Bill, trade and the UK’s global role, from leading environmental campaigners: Read more
This post is by Tom West, UK environment lead at ClientEarth.
Where does your stuff come from? It’s a classic environmental refrain to consider the origin of the clothes you wear, the food you eat and all the general stuff you accumulate. So the UK government’s ambitions to sign new trade deals and open our markets to new goods from around the world is really very relevant to those who care about how things are made. Read more