More transparency on environmental commitments in trade: New online tool TREND analytics examines environmental provisions aspects in trade agreements

Press release of 1 August 2017
Bonn, 1 August 2017. TTIP, CETA and TPP – the big trade agreements frequently make it into the media. The focus in public debates is often on controversial issues such as their consequences for the environment and for climate protection. But what do trade agreements tell us about these issues? Which types of diverse environmental provisions exist und how have they changed in the last years?

Researchers at the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) and the Canada Research Chair in International Political Economy at Laval University developed a new data-based online tool called TREND analytics.  Based on an extensive TRade and ENvironment Database (TREND), the tool shows which environmental norms were included in different bilateral and regional trade agreements by different countries since 1945. It analyses more than 630 preferential trade agreements with regard to around 300 different environment-related aspects.

In light of heated debates about the interlinkages between trade and environmental protection as well as broader debates like the 2030 Agenda, “TREND analytics offers a basis to address these issues. It offers reliable data-driven knowledge and more transparency,” states Clara Brandi, head of the project Klimalog - research and dialogue for a climate-smart and just transformation at DIE. With TREND analytics, policy makers, researchers, trade negotiators and actors of the civil society can gain insights into the development of environmental constraints. At the same time, the online tool provides the opportunity to compare the agreements and to search the most recent or the most innovative environmental provisions within a minute or two.

By using the tool, you can inform yourself about:

  • the wide diversity of environmental provisions and their contents;
  • the temporal development of adopting environmental aspects into trade agreements for each country worldwide;
  • what trade agreements have to say about topics like climate change, biodiversity, and energy;
  • current case studies and research on environmental provisions in trade agreements.

Access the TRade & ENvironment Database (TREND) analytics:   

Background facts and features of TREND analytics (video):

Get an introduction on how to use TREND analytics (tutorial video):

Quotes for unrestricted usability:

"Good policy requires good data. Tools such as TREND analytics help make it easier to visualise, comprehend and access data on environmental provisions in bilateral and regional trade agreements. It complements the information available in the WTO Environmental Database and will assist researchers, policy makers and other interested stakeholders to navigate often complex trade-related environmental provisions."  - Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO)

“TREND analytics offers open-access knowledge that supports efforts to promote policy coherence between trade, the environment and sustainable development.”  - Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Director of the Oxford Martin School

Press contact

Astrid Dirksen, press contact Klimalog project, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
Tel.: +49 (0)228 94927-307

Contact to involved researcher:

Clara Brandi, project leader Klimalog, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
Tel.: +49 (0)228 94927-175


The Klimalog project aims to better connect global climate and development policy with national political and economic realities. It does so by promoting awareness for interlinkages between climate and development policy, and furthering a goal-oriented dialogue between pertinent actors in politics, academia, civil society and the private sector.

In cooperation with

The Canada Research Chair in International Political Economy, headed by Jean-Frédéric Morin (Laval University), contributes to a better understanding of globalisation by conducting innovative research projects and by training promising new researchers. Launched in October 2014, it explores the interactions between international trade, environmental protection, foreign investment and intellectual property.