Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/222561
Authors: 
Steinfatt, Karsten
Year of Publication: 
2020
Series/Report no.: 
WTO Staff Working Paper No. ERSD-2020-10
Abstract: 
From its initial focus on minimizing waste generation, the circular economy has evolved into a broad-based approach to make resource use more sustainable. A big part of the appeal of a circular economy is the opportunities it creates not only for resource savings and better human health and environmental outcomes, but also for trade and economic diversification. As interest in circular economy approaches grows, it becomes increasingly important to ensure that trade policies are designed and implemented with the goals of a circular economy in mind. Doing so would bolster the role of trade in scaling up circular economy solutions worldwide. This paper reviews work at the WTO related to the circular economy. It shows how WTO members have addressed issues related to the circular economy through policy dialogue, peer review, negotiations and more recently, Aid for Trade. Experience in these four areas provides valuable insights into how WTO members can expand the positive contribution of trade to a circular economy, not least by: (i) improving their collective understanding of how trade interacts with the circular economy; (ii) building trust and confidence to engage in mutually beneficial activities related to circular economy; (iii) opening and facilitating trade in key areas of the circular economy; and (iv) supporting efforts in developing countries to seize the potential environmental, economic and social benefits of a circular economy through enhanced trade.
Subjects: 
international trade
circular economy
resource efficiency
sustainable development
waste
WTO
transparency
policy coordination
Aid for Trade
JEL: 
F13
F18
F42
F64
Q56
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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