Key organizations

Being up to date with the work of the following organizations is key to understanding the intersection of trade and environment. There are many, many more that touch upon this field but this selection concerns itself mainly with heavy-hitters of an international nature that have a pronounced and long-standing interest in this exact field. 

ICTSD – International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development
Note: Geneva based NGO. Highly respected and active in the field of trade and environment. Modern in their approach with very good outreach work.

IISD – International Institute for Sustainable Development
Note: International Research Institute with Canadian origins.

WTO – World Trade Organization
Note: Geneva based International Organization created in 1995, though ultimately a creature of the post-war Bretton-Woods system of international economic governance.

UNCTAD – United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Note: A UN agency whose unofficial mandate is to be a place where mandates can take form and be created. Somewhat abused for this role unfortunately, despite their incredibly helpful contribution of providing a creative space of fluidity where new ideas and synergies can take form. Holds great potential to play a key role in exploring solutions to Trade & Environment related concerns.

UNEP – United Nations Environment Programme
Note: Highly driven and active UN agency with deep engagement in both the Trade & Environment area as well as its close cousin: The Green Economy.

OECD – Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development
Note: Paris based International Organization. Somewhat disparagingly known as a “rich country think tank”, though in reality their mission, work and usefulness is truly global in nature.

The World Bank
Note: Another creature of the post-war Bretton Woods system. Highly focused on economics in their research approach and a resource for Trade & Environment related material coming primarily from an economist viewpoint.

Environmental Think Tanks around the world
Note: The International Center for Climate Governance (ICCG) have done an amazing job gathering most of the relevant environmental think tanks around the world in one place. Many of these often brush up against trade and environment related issues in their work, though one is advised to check the work programs to find out what their current priorities are.

National Governments & Regional Organizations
Note: Somewhere in some government office in every country, there are people looking at trade and environment issues. However, since this is a much too heterogenous group to map out meaningfully, for our purposes here it will suffice to say that national governments can be excellent resources for trade and environment material. Particularly for information of a regional and national character. Especially important are the large regional organizations such as the EU and APEC, as long as one keeps in mind that their work is ultimately inextricable from their politics.

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