August 9, 2016
The 15th round of negotiations between certain members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) for an Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) took place from July 24-29 in Geneva.
Prior to the round, on July 10, 2016, trade ministers and senior officials from 10 EGA participants (Canada as well as Australia, China, the European Union, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Turkey, and the United States) met on the margins of the G20 Trade Ministers Meeting in Shanghai, China.
It was agreed that EGA participants should achieve a "landing zone" by the G20 Leaders' Summit on September 4-5, 2016 and aim to conclude negotiations by the end of 2016. The ministers also provided guidance for EGA negotiators regarding next steps in the negotiations, including on objectives for round 15.
Global Affairs Canada reports that, in line with the G20 Trade Ministers' instructions, participants to the 15th round worked intensively to develop a "landing zone" for the EGA. After individual discussions with all EGA participants, the Chair of the EGA negotiations circulated a more focused list of products which is expected to provide a basis for further discussions towards the conclusion of the negotiations by the end of 2016.
The round also featured discussions on the draft text for the EGA. Participants agreed to hold the next round of negotiations in mid-September.
The current EGA participants are: Australia, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Chinese Taipei, the European Union, Hong Kong (China), Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Singapore, United States, Israel, Turkey and Iceland.