Leading companies such as IKEA and Marks & Spencer have been calling on the British authorities to ensure that any post-Brexit trade deals are tasked with climate and environmental goals.
Civil society leaders that also includes Tesco and John Lewis, says that all post-Brexit Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) should include mutual obligations to the Paris Agreement and also a binding non-regression clause.
Significantly, the UK is currently negotiating an FTA with The US -- the only major market not to have dedicated to the Paris Agreement, after the Trump government pulled the country out of the offer.
Aldersgate Group executive manager Nick Molho explained, "Existing free Trade arrangements have paid inadequate attention to climate and environmental considerations, with environmental conditions frequently playing second fiddle to economic conditions.
"With the business community firmly supporting the UK's environmental And climate aspirations, the International Britain agenda ought to be about developing a first of a kind trade policy which places environmental and clean growth factors at the heart of future trade deals."
Prospective FTAs should also include measures to eliminate barriers to the trade of low-carbon products and ecological services, and also a legally binding right to either party to increase climate or environmental norms.
This would assist both parties to reap their fair share of the global low-carbon goods market, forecast to surpass #1 trillion (US$1.25trn) by 2030, while ensuring that they can react to future climate events and enhanced scientific research.
Besides the FTAs, the report recommends the forthcoming Trade Bill to Guarantee that all agreements receive adequate parliamentary scrutiny and stakeholder participation"well ahead" of their ratification to permit time for in-depth sustainability impact assessments.
The report also highlights the necessity to"look beyond FTAs" and also Use bilateral trade negotiations and multilateral bodies, like the UN and the World Trade Organisation (WTO), to boost low-carbon trade.
Finally, the Aldersgate Group reiterates its demands for stronger National policies designed to spur a mere low-carbon transition which boosts the national economy.
The publication of the report comes less than a week before the UK is due to start FTA agreements with Australia and New Zealand. New Zealand, like the UK, has enshrined a 2050 net-zero target in legislation. Australia is presently considering a 2050 net-zero target.
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