Global concern about the impact of climate change, and particularly its adverse impacts on developing countries, and the related significant economic costs associated with inaction, have recently prompted greater attention by the international community. Response measures, as they are introduced in several sectors of the economy, such as transportation, energy use, electricity generation, agriculture and forestry have significant trade and development implications. UNCTAD is best positioned to focus on the economic and development implications of climate change.
Admitting that future economies will be carbon-constrained, UNCTAD has a significant role to play in preparing developing countries for expected shifts in relative prices and relative production costs stemming from the introduction of climate policies and measures. Moreover, UNCTAD could contribute to a smoother transition to a post-unregulated carbon economy.
As we observe a growing commitment towards more active climate change policy, both at the national and international levels, UNCTAD is particularly well-placed to address the following issues:
- trade competitiveness aspects of climate change policies;
- trade, development gains and investment opportunities arising as climate change measures are adopted;
- investment promotion and development gains in developing countries under the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol; and
- compatibility issues between climate policy and trade rules.
Ongoing and proposed UNCTAD activities
- Economic analysis on trade and climate change interface, for example by assessing trade and development impacts of specific emission reduction proposals;
- Development of training material on the rules of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), so that a considerable number of developing nations can attract investment via CDM towards energy development projects;
- Organize international policy fora to discuss the interface and mutually supportiveness of trade and climate change policy at the international, regional and national levels;
- Participation in intergovernmental and technical meetings to showcase UNCTAD´s activities related to biofuels production, domestic use and trade, including assessment of NTBs related to trade in biofuels.