WCO participates at 2016 International Conference on Green Trade in Beijing, China

The World Customs Organization’s (WCO) Research Unit participated at the 2016 International Conference on Green Trade in Beijing, China on 6-7 December. The Conference provided a platform for experts to discuss strategies and techniques for balancing economic development and environmental protection.

The Conference was organised and hosted by Beijing Normal University. In addition to the WCO, Conference presenters came from organisations such as the the United Nations (UNESCAP, UNDP, and UNCTAD), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and the Stockholm Environment Institute.

In his presentation, the Head of the WCO’s Research Unit, Mr. Robert Ireland, said that while the threat from global warming was becoming increasingly dire, there was still time to, among other things, strengthen carbon pricing policies such as carbon taxes to accelerate the shift from fossil fuels to low-carbon energies.

Mr. Ireland also described WCO efforts to curtail the illicit trade in wildlife that was threatening extinction for species such as elephants and rhinoceroses. He said that the WCO’s work in wildlife protection is focused on awareness raising, capacity building, operational activities, and research. "Combatting crimes against wildlife" said Mr. Ireland "must be a common endeavour where all stakeholders work together to cover the entire supply and value chain, from the point of origin to destination markets."

During their stay in China, the WCO team met with China Customs to discuss common interests and ideas for joint research projects, including on topics such as e-commerce, free trade zones, Customs-tax cooperation, security, and environmental protection.