Greener practice is more sustainable 

By Albert Oppong-Ansah, Courtesy European Union 

Brussels (Belgium), March 27, GNA Mr Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission for an Economy that Works for People and Commissioner for Trade, says transitioning to greener practice is more sustainable and its path of progress will benefit all. 

That, he explained, was part of the EU’s resolve to find the right balance between building a more sustainable future and pursuing trade policy to attain such a broader objective, drive innovation and create market access opportunities for green goods and services.   

Mr Dombrovskis said this at the end of a two-day seminar held in Brussels on Sustainability Policies and International Trade organised by the EU for 20 journalists selected globally.  

The EU, he said for instance, was of the conviction that trade could and should be a driver for accelerating fair transition to a low-carbon and climate resilient economy.  

The Executive Vice-President of the European Commission stated that bilaterally, the EU had adjusted its approach to Free Trade Agreements to ensure they increasingly facilitated the green transition.  

“All modern EU trade agreements contain rules on trade and sustainable development, having so-called Trade and Sustainability Development Chapters,” he said.  

“We also mainstream sustainability throughout our trade agreements to prioritise the liberalisation of green goods and services, liberalise trade in raw materials and energy goods for the climate transition, promote sustainable public procurement and remove barriers to trade and investment in renewable energy.” 

Mr Dombrovskis said domestically, the EU under its Green Deal had an objective to be climate neutral by 2050 and had a goal to achieve 55 per cent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.  

“It is clear that the introduction of these measures will impact how we produce, consume, invest, and also on our relationship with our international partners,” he said.  

“But we all need to step up our efforts and actions both internationally and domestically. The question is not if we introduce measures, but how we design and implement them.” 

Mr Dombrovskis stated that the EU was committed to continuous transparent and active engagement, and genuine consideration of concerns, both in the design and implementation phases of its measures.  

The EU, he noted, would continue to engage with third country partners throughout the design and implementation of measures, including EU Deforestation Regulation implementation rules, and Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism. 

Mr Dombrovskis assured that the EU would facilitate the implementation through all possible tools and mechanisms, including guidelines to operators, third country stakeholders’ involvement in the development of implementation tools and engaging in capacity building to help countries meet EU requirements.  

“So, the aim is not just to minimise negative impacts on trade, but to create opportunities for third countries’ green economy to emerge and flourish,” he said. 

“All these elements are part of our overall external strategy aiming to place our necessary sustainability measures within a wider, collaborative, international context that responds to climate change in a decisive manner.”