Climate change and trade: what policies for environmental goods and services?
Carlos Correa, Executive Director, South Centre
International conference on “Climate Change and Sustainable Development”
26-27 March 2022, Cairo, Egypt
While the importance of protecting the environment in the context of trade policies is firmly recognized, a key question is the extent to which trade disciplines aimed at protecting the environment can reach their intended or declared objectives and affect the trade interests and economic growth prospects of developing countries. Developing countries are also among the most affected by climate change and, hence, they have a major interest in international action to address it. However, the intensification of environmental threats faced by developing countries is not of their making, and advancing an agenda -with no evidence that it would lead to reduced emissions- is likely to just disadvantage the developing world which has the least responsibility historically for today’s climate-related damages. Given this history, as well as the tight external constraints imposed on their efforts to mobilize resources, developing countries cannot be expected to either successfully mitigate climate change or adapt to climate change, without significant financial and technological support. The South Centre has been assessing the policy implications that the initiatives on trade and environmental sustainability will have for the Global South.
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Adoption, adaptation and diffusion of technology offer Least Developed Countries (LDCs) substantial potential to increase economic productivity and development and to narrow the technological gap with developed countries. It is in recognition of the need for sustained and sustainable mechanisms to enable the transfer of technologies between countries that the United Nations (UN) Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries was born.
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History and Politics of Climate Change Adaptation at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
By Harjeet Singh and Indrajit Bose
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Promoting Sustainable Development by Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change Response Measures on Developing Countries
Response measures arise in the context of developed and developing countries taking actions to combat climate change at global, national and regional levels, such as for the protection and stabilization of the climate, emissions leakages and/or the costs of environmental compliance. They may have unintended and adverse economic and social consequences for developing countries’ economies, most often on the poorest and most vulnerable sectors of those economies.
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Twenty years after the Rio Summit 1992, the global sustainable development situation has deteriorated. The environment crisis has worsened. After a period of good development performances in some developing countries, the prospects for the global economy have worsened, with the financial-economic crisis now affecting Europe and the US, which has implications for developing countries. (more…)
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Carbon-Based Competitiveness, Trade and Climate Change: Perspectives of Developing Countries.
This paper analyses a number of issues raised by the increasing links between the global trade and climate agendas such as tariff liberalisation on green technologies, the use of low carbon standards, intellectual property rights and border adjustment measures. The paper examines these issues from the perspectives of developing countries focusing on the political and economic considerations that underlie them. (more…)
The Role of Decentralized Renewable Energy Technologies in Adaptation to Climate Change in Developing Countries.
This paper analyses the positive impact of Decentralized Renewable Energy Technologies on enhancing climate change adaptation capacity in developing countries facing climate change-related increasing hazards. (more…)