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Commissioner Malmström to co-chair decisive negotiations on Environmental Goods Agreement in Geneva

Sustainable development | Brussels, 2 December 2016

Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström flies today to Geneva, Switzerland to attempt to reach a deal on an Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) on behalf of the EU and together with 16 other members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

This deal would aim to remove tariffs on hundreds of products that protect the environment and contribute to the fight against climate change. Commissioner Malmström will co-chair the ministerial meeting, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday and Sunday, along with US Trade Representative Michael Froman.

The Commissioner said: "I sincerely hope that the participating members will live up to their expressed commitments to reach a deal. If these negotiations are to succeed, all countries will now need to demonstrate flexibility and will to compromise. Making trade in environmentally friendly technologies cheaper is a key step on the way towards reaching the targets set in the Paris agreement on climate".

The deal is expected to cover a range of green products, such as renewable energy and energy-saving technologies, waste handling and recycling systems, and water treatment and air pollution control devices. Around 4 million people are already employed in the environmental goods sector in the EU today, and the industry is growing. The signatories to the EGA would include countries representing over 90% of world trade in green goods.

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