The emergence of greener economies has been the consequence of several drivers including, increasing regulatory and policy changes put in place to deal with negative externalities, difficulties faced in responding to ever increasing demands over natural and energy inputs, changes in consumption patterns, corporate responses to environmental and social considerations, as well as competitiveness, efficiency and image variables.
In discussions leading the Rio+20 Conference, considerable political and negotiating efforts focused on the concerns that the green economy raises in trade contexts. For examples, the emergence of green protectionist temptations and recent trade-related conflicts is one of the factors that has fueled such concerns.
Opportunities are also seen in the trade in environmental goods and services, higher investment levels and in the emergence of greener sectors in both developed and developing countries, such as organic agriculture, biodiversity based production, ecotourism and clean energy generation.
It is time to start shifting the emphasis from negotiations to concrete proposals on innovative cooperation frameworks and capacity building initiatives. UNCTAD is currently offering two specific technical cooperation initiatives to contribute to the Rio+ 20 follow up. The first, will address concerns about green protectionism by calling for a new “institutional” space, away from current trade negotiations and disputes, so evidence-based dialogue and solution sharing can be fostered: the Global Trade and Green Economy Forum. The second will assist developing countries in seizing trade opportunities that will arise from the emerging global green economy by helping them to identify promising green export opportunities.
This side event aims to showcase UNCTAD´s analytical work regarding the trade and development dimensions of the green economy, as well as its technical assistance and consensus building mechanisms to ensure a robust follow-up to the Rio+20 outcomes. It will also discuss the establishment of a Global Forum on Green Economy and Trade and the value of the Product Space Methodology to map out a country´s comparative advantage vis-à-vis dynamic green goods and services. The event will also provide a platform to facilitate expressions of interest and technical assistance calls and requests by donors and beneficiary countries, respectively, in relation to potential green products and services. More >>