Given the slow global progress in this area, why should we be optimistic about the success of ACCTS? The five countries have different perspectives, come from a mix of regions of the world and are at different levels of economic development. However, its participation in other negotiations on trade and environmental agreements highlights areas of consensus and the ACCTS is an excellent opportunity for this coalition to play a leadership role in this area and inspire others to do the same. With little progress on these issues at the multilateral and plurilateral levels, five small countries have a unique opportunity to create a «pioneering agreement» on trade and climate change. Their leadership in promoting this agenda is to be commended. A group of five small countries announced that they would start negotiations for a new agreement on climate change, trade and sustainability, which, if successful, would be the first international trade agreement focused exclusively on climate change and sustainable development. The initiative is also embarking on new paths by simultaneously removing barriers to trade in environmental goods and services and developing binding rules to remove fossil fuel subsidies. Small countries can be at the forefront of developing new trade rules that can contribute to achieving climate goals, but making credible commitments, attracting additional participants and ensuring transparency will be critical to long-term success. Second, the agreement must ultimately attract many more participants. The EU, which is already trying to adapt its trade agreements to the fight against climate change, is a clear candidate.
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