This chairs’ summary was produced as part of the G7 Trade and Environment Senior Officials’ meeting, which took place on 30 September 2021 as part of the UK’s G7 Presidency.
This year G7 Leaders, and Trade, Climate and Environment Ministers recognised that as the global economy begins to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, our trade policies must align with environment policies to support our environmental objectives if we are to build back better and greener, achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, address climate change and halt biodiversity loss. It was also recognised that tackling these global issues requires coordinated global action.
In the 2030 Nature Compact, G7 Leaders tasked Trade, Environment and other relevant Ministries to hold an initial, joint official-level meeting to share best practices and consider appropriate domestic actions in taking forward commitments to support Sustainable Supply Chains (SSC) that decouple agricultural production from deforestation and forest degradation, including from illegal land conversion.
On 30th September, G7 Senior Officials met to discuss the ways in which policy makers can work together to develop approaches to address this issue. Officials reflected on current efforts and future plans to support the transition to sustainable supply chains, discussing approaches to identify actions and strategies, the role of trade and trade policies in supporting this agenda and efforts to engage with a variety of stakeholders (public and private) to develop effective policies. Other important areas of action highlighted included: domestic regulation, international cooperation, data and evidence generation, and sustainable finance and investment policy.
The G7 welcomed presentations from Chatham House and the World Cocoa Foundation on the role of consumer countries in supporting sustainability. Key issues discussed included how to prioritise a possible package of measures to support decoupling agricultural production from deforestation and forest degradation, and the need for consumer countries to work together to ensure demand side measures are as simple as possible for producers to work with. The G7 also discussed the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) Dialogue and how together, Trade and Environment Ministries could engage with and support long-term objectives of this dialogue and promote the next steps of this initiative to protect the world’s forests and other vital eco systems while promoting sustainable trade and development.
The G7 reflected on this crucial time for action as we move towards the forthcoming UNFCCC COP26 and CBD COP15 recognising that progress on this agenda is a critical contribution towards meeting climate change and biodiversity goals, enhancing food security, improving livelihoods and building consumer confidence and resilient trade. We welcome the continued links between G7 Trade and Environment Ministries and recognise that further work on this agenda is needed to realise the transition to sustainable supply chains. We look forward to continuing to engage on this critical agenda, including with other producer and consumer countries, such as through the FACT Dialogue and other multilateral fora, respecting and complementing existing processes.