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International Trade Committee launches inquiry on ‘COP26 and International Trade’

22 July 2021

The International Trade Committee launches an inquiry on COP26 and international trade.  

The inquiry comes as the UK prepares to host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, from 31st October – 12th November 2021.  

The Government has identified opportunities to use international trade to further environmental goals through the promotion of ‘green trade’ at the World Trade Organisation. At the same time, there is discussion around the environmental impacts of international trade and how these might be mitigated.

Additionally, the future impacts of climate change may affect international trade by disrupting infrastructure and transport routes, and by bringing about new patterns of trade and production.

The inquiry will consider how international trade and investment are being considered as part of the COP26 agenda, and how the Government’s trade and investment priorities align with its objectives for COP26.

Send us your views

The Committee welcomes written evidence on the terms of reference below by 7 Speptember 2021.

Terms of reference

The Committee welcomes written evidence on the following questions: 

  • How can international trade and investment contribute to realising the goals of COP26?  
  • Are international trade and investment likely to feature in the high-level negotiations at COP26? 
  • What are the possible impacts of climate change on international trade and investment?   
  • To what extent does the Government’s trade policy align with the objectives of COP26? This includes, but is not limited to, its actions at the WTO, its G7 presidency, and its bilateral and plurilateral trade agenda.
  • What discussions, if any, are planned to develop a multilateral approach to carbon pricing systems (including border adjustment mechanisms), green subsidies and investment funds, the curbing of fossil fuel subsidies, a circular economy and sustainable supply chains?
  • What impact could an agreement on finance at COP26 have on trends in international investment? 
  • What engagement has there been between the COP26 Unit and the Department for International Trade on the Government’s agenda for its Presidency?

Form of written evidence

Submissions should be no longer than 3,000 words. The main body of any submission should use numbered paragraphs. Each submission should contain: 

  • a short summary, perhaps in bullet point form; 
  • a brief introduction about the person or organisation submitting evidence, for example explaining their area of expertise or experience; 
  • any factual information from which the Committee might be able to draw conclusions, or which could be put to other witnesses;
  • any recommendations for action by the Government or others which the submitter would like the Committee to consider for inclusion in its report to the House. 

Submissions should be in malleable format such as MS Word (not PDFs) with no use of colour or logos. Guidance on submitting written evidence and data protection information is available here: Guidance on submitting written evidence.

Deadline for submissions

The Committee is asking for initial written evidence to be submitted by 7 September 2021.

Chair's Comment

Commenting on the inquiry launch, Angus Brendan MacNeil MP, Chair of the International Trade Committee, said:

“As the host nation for the COP26 climate change conference, the UK has a responsibility to lead from the front on environmental issues. 

The Government has identified opportunities to promote ‘green trade’ on the world stage, but it is not clear how these ambitions will fit with the aims of COP26 and how any environmental impacts of international trade can be mitigated.

There are also important questions to be asked about the impact climate change could have on global trade. If temperatures continue to rise and our environment continues to change, transport routes could be disrupted and production methods may fail.

This inquiry will explore how international trade features in the COP26 agenda, how the Government’s trade and investment priorities align with COP26, and what the potential impacts of a changing climate are for international trade.”


We encourage members of underrepresented groups to submit written evidence. We aim to have diverse panels of Select Committee witnesses and ask organisations to bear this in mind when we ask them to choose a representative. We are currently monitoring the diversity of our witnesses. 

Further information

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