UNCITRAL Colloquium on Climate Change and the Law of International Trade

Dates: 12-13 July 2023 (Wednesday and Thursday)
Venue: Board D Room of the Vienna International Centre, Vienna and online
Time: 9:30 – 12:30; 14:00 – 17:00 Vienna time (Central European Summer Time)

The Colloquium is organized by the UNCITRAL secretariat, in cooperation with other relevant international organizations, pursuant to the request of the Commission at its fifty-fifth session in 2022 (A/77/17, para. 216).  At that session, the Commission agreed on the importance of the topic and on the usefulness of exploring how UNCITRAL could offer its own contribution to the international community’s efforts to combat climate change and mitigate its effects by updating existing private law instruments and developing new enabling legal mechanisms, if necessary. It was observed that global efforts to combat climate change were an integral part of the agenda of the United Nations and that, as a subsidiary body of the General Assembly, UNCITRAL was well placed to undertake work on those aspects of climate change falling within its mandate, and it would indeed be expected that UNCITRAL would provide its own contribution to support the efforts of other United Nations bodies and Secretariat units in that respect (A/77/17, para. 212). 

For that purpose, the Commission requested the Secretariat to organize a colloquium on the various legal issues surrounding climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience, in conjunction with relevant and interested international organizations, the results of which would facilitate its consideration at a future session.

The Colloquium will consider areas in which international trade law can effectively support the achievement of climate action goals set by the international community, the scope and value of legal harmonization in those areas and the need for international guidance for legislators, policymakers, courts and dispute resolution bodies. It should consider in particular: (a) the contribution that UNCITRAL, being a subsidiary body of the United Nations General Assembly and an inclusive forum to devise global solutions, could make in the light of its mandate to promote the harmonization and modernization of the law of international trade in the form of possible future work and (b) how existing UNCITRAL instruments in areas such as contract law, electronic commerce, insolvency, secured transactions, public procurement, public-private partnerships and dispute resolution can be applied to support climate action. 

The first day will focus on emission trading and sustainable finance, whereas the second day will deal with corporate social responsibility, greening the supply chain and climate-related dispute resolution. 

The main conclusions of the Colloquium will be presented to the Commission for consideration during the third week of its fifty-sixth session.



CVs of speakers 


Official documents


Video recordings

Day 1 - Morning session


Day 1 - Afternoon session


Day 2 - Morning session


Day 2 - Afternoon session