US urges WTO members to focus on trade-related climate measures

By Doug Palmer | 04/05/2024 01:00 PM EDT

The Biden administration, which crafted the communication, stopped short of calling for negotiations on a formal agreement.

The United States is calling on countries to focus more attention on a growing array of trade-related climate measures that have the potential to become trade irritants as countries strive to reduce global carbon emissions.

World Trade Organization members have already notified “over a thousand trade-related measures on climate change mitigation and adaptation, and thousands more environmental measures and regulatory policies that relate to climate change and environmental protection,” the United States said in a communication it sent to other WTO members Thursday.

“The time is ripe to pull some aspects of this work into a deeper discussion that is data- and fact-driven and could help inform WTO Members considering practical policy options and tools to address climate change while recognizing potential trade-related impact,” the U.S. added.


The U.S. statement, which is an uncommon occurrence, comes even as China is poised to challenge Washington’s clean energy subsidies in a formal WTO dispute.