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Trade and Climate Change: Complementary or in Conflict?

Climate change is widely recognized as a primordial challenge to the future of our planet. Under the Paris Accord, and following President Biden’s Climate Summit, governments and the private sector alike have committed to meeting more ambitious targets to reduce emissions, alongside steps to facilitate mitigation and adaptation. In this context, some have argued that trade rules that promote freer flow of goods between countries run counter to these efforts. This session with eminent experts in both fields will explore whether the WTO-based trade regime, and the Paris framework for addressing climate change, do in fact pursue competing objectives, or whether they are or can be made compatible in a way that promotes both environmental stewardship and sustainable economic growth.


May 31 2021


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Virtual Event


  • Catherine Abreu
    Catherine Abreu
    Executive Director, Climate Action Network - Réseau action climat (CAN-Rac) Canada
    Catherine Abreu is an internationally recognized, award-winning campaigner whose work centres on building powerful coalitions to advance action on climate change. One of the world’s 100 most influential people in climate policy as named by Apolitical in 2019, she has over 15 years of experience campaign-ing on environmental issues including 7 years in the heart of the climate movement. Catherine is currently the Executive Director of Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat (CAN-Rac) Canada. Canada’s primary network of organizations working on climate change and energy is-sues, CAN-Rac is a coalition of more than 120 organizations operating from coast to coast to coast. Catherine joined CAN-Rac Canada in 2016, after five years spearheading the energy and climate pro-grams at the Ecology Action Centre, Atlantic Canada’s longest-running environmental advocacy organi-zation. She is also the former Coordinator of the Atlantic Canada Sustainable Energy Coalition. An accomplished public speaker, Catherine is honoured to have shared the stage with some of the world’s leading environmental thinkers, including David Suzuki, Christiana Figueres, and Bill McKibbon. Her political commentary has featured in the New York Times, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and the Financial Post. She appears regularly as an expert guest on CBC, CTV, Global and other current affairs television and radio programs. Catherine is the 2020 recipient of the prestigious Jack Layton Progress Prize for her international lead-ership on climate policy and action, and her transformative work at CAN-Rac Canada. She is a proud honouree of Canada’s Clean50.
  • Celine Bak
    Celine Bak
    President and Founder of Analytica Advisors
    Céline Bak is a Canadian whose core values include curiosity, connection and generosity. She has worked internationally for 30 years in more than 25 countries. Her career has spanned global manage-ment consulting to Fortune 100 companies, operations of high-growth digital companies and leadership of global research in energy, investment and sustainability. In 2018, Emmanuel Macron knighted her for mobilizing private sector stakeholders in the run-up to the Paris Agreement in 2015. Through unique networks, Céline is engaged with senior figures globally in the private sector, govern-ment and diplomacy. She has a deep understanding of the capacity needed to develop and prosecute business strategies associated with keeping global temperatures aligned with no more than 1.5°C of warming. Céline has advised We Mean Business and other international platforms for private sector commitments to decarbonization. She has engaged in international diplomacy to ensure the International Energy Agency publishes energy/climate scenarios that are safe for all. She is engaged by global media as an expert on sustainable finance and climate/energy scenarios. Céline frequently moderates events for the governments of France, Germany and the UK as well as for the delegation of the European Union. Recently at the Pyramid Forum on Enterprise Transformation for the Next Gen EU Fund, she moderated Spain’s only Chatham House Rules dialogue between Céline Gauer, Head of the Recovery and Resilience Taskforce (RECOVER) at the European Commission, Deputy Secretary General and Manuel de la Rocha, Director of Economy for the Spanish Government. (Madrid, Spain, October 2020) Céline is trilingual in English, French and Spanish. She and her husband have three grown daughters. She enjoys swimming in cold water and nature.
  • Jonathan T. Fried
    Jonathan T. Fried
    Senior Advisor, Albright Stonebridge Group and Senior Associate, Center for Strategic and International Studies
    Jonathan T. Fried is a Senior Advisor, Albright Stonebridge Group and Senior Associate, Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC, and Advisor, Llewellyn Consulting in London, UK. Until his 2020 retirement from government, he was Prime Minister Trudeau‘s “Sherpa” for the G20 and Coordinator for International Economic Relations, with a mandate encompassing CoVid responses and other international trade and economic matters. As Canada’s WTO Ambassador Mr. Fried was General Council Chair, 2014 and Dispute Settlement Body Chair, 2013. He co-Chaired with China the G20’s Trade and Investment Working Group, 2015, and Germany’s “Friend of the Chair”, 2016. He was Canada’s representative to APEC’s Vision Group that delivered long-term objectives to Leaders, 2019. He was previously Canada’s Ambassador to Japan; Executive Director for Canada’s constituency at the IMF; Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister; and Senior Assistant Deputy Minister and G7/G20 Finance Deputy, following several senior assignments, including as Chief Negotiator on China’s WTO accession and chief NAFTA counsel.
  • Stephen de Boer
    Stephen de Boer
    Canada’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization
    Stephen de Boer was appointed as Canada’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization on August 21, 2017. Mr. de Boer joined Global Affairs Canada in 2005. In 2006, he was named the Director of the Softwood Lumber Division. From 2008 to 2010, he served as the Director of the Oceans and Environmental Law Division. In 2010, he joined Environment Canada as the Deputy Chief Negotiator for climate change and the Director General responsible for Canada’s international climate change negotiations and partner-ships. Mr. de Boer returned to the department in 2013 as the Director General of the Trade Controls Bu-reau. In 2015, he was appointed Ambassador to Poland and in 2016, Ambassador to Belarus. Mr. de Boer has a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from Western University and a Master of Laws in International and Comparative Law from Georgetown University.

Virtual Event

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