MPs to probe impact of global trade on the environment

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MPs are to look at how the growth of international trade is affecting the environment – including the impact of transporting goods.

The House of Commons International Trade Committee will examine how the government should address environmental issues in its trade and investment policy – including at the WTO and in future trade agreements.

Committee chair Angus Brendan MacNeil said: “Increased levels of international trade can lead to negative environmental outcomes due the requirements of producing and transporting goods – which can be energy and resource intensive.

“Counter to this, however, is the argument that increased trade can boost a country’s economic growth and access to new technologies – and therefore its ability to manage environmental challenges.”

The committee wants to consider how the government can support positive environmental outcomes through trade policy – including the achievement of the internationally agreed climate targets set out in the Paris Agreement, and how the negative environmental impacts of trade can be mitigated.

The committee is inviting submissions on the following questions:

* What is the relationship between trade and investment liberalisation and environmental outcomes?

* How effectively do trade and investment agreements address environmental issues, including climate change?

* How does and should the Government approach issues of the environment and climate change in its trade and investment policy, and its work on export promotion?

* How might the Government seek to address environmental issues, including climate change as part of its trade policy post-Brexit?

* How can the imposition or reduction of tariffs on trade in goods be used to pursue environmental aims?

* How can coherence be ensured between trade and environmental policy across Whitehall?

The deadline for written submissions is Tuesday 1st October.

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