To be honest, nobody had high hopes for Durban. Indeed, the way things were going, the final result must be said to have been somewhat better than expected.
The really exciting opportunity for progress, especially with regards to the so called Green Economy, lies with the upcoming Rio+20 meeting which will take place this summer.
To prepare for this much anticipated meeting, the WTO has released a very interesting new brochure where they lay out a couple of messages on the linkage between trade and sustainable development. Essentially, this is meant as a “what does the WTO think going into Rio+20”.
Available here, I am impressed by the clarity of this brief position paper of the WTO. It touches, albeit briefly, on the major trade issues as they relate to the Green Economy. Of course, for anyone following Trade & Environment in the WTO, none of their positions come as a shock (support multilateral trading system, no green protectionism etc) but it is great to see that the organization is taking such an active interest in Rio+20. They are right to do so, since the general feeling is that this is where the “action” is right now with regards to multilateral progress. Indeed, hopes are getting quite amped for June in Rio de Janeiro.
Anyone interested in how trade issues might come to play out at Rio+20 should check out this brief paper to get an understanding of the WTO:s own thinking on these issues.