Trade and Environment: WTO and UNEP launch a report explaining for the first time the connections between trade and climate change
The world cannot continue with "business as usual" and there is a profound need for a successful conclusion to the current negotiations on both climate change and trade opening.
26 June 2009 - The WTO/UNEP report on "Trade and Climate Change" published today examines the intersections between trade and climate change from four perspectives: the science of climate change; economics; multilateral efforts to tackle climate change; and national climate change policies and their effect on trade.
The WTO and UNEP are partners in the pursuit of sustainable development and this report is the outcome of collaborative research between the WTO and UNEP.
"With a challenge of this magnitude, multilateral cooperation is crucial and a successful conclusion to the ongoing climate change negotiations is the first step to achieving sustainable development for future generations," said WTO Director General Pascal Lamy and UNEP's Executive Director Achim Steiner.
Both Steiner and Lamy urge the international community to seal an equitable and decisive deal at the crucial UN climate convention meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December 2009. They also urge nations to conclude the Doha trade round which includes opening trade in environmental goods and services, a complementary track towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions to scientifically-defensible levels.
The scientific evidence is now clear that the Earth's climate system is warming as a result of greenhouse gas emissions which are still increasing worldwide, and will continue to increase over the coming decades unless there are significant changes to current laws, policies and actions. Although freer trade could lead to increased CO2 emissions as a result of raising economic activity, it can also help alleviate climate change, for instance by increasing the diffusion of adaptation and mitigation technologies.
The global economy is expected to be affected by climate change. Sectors such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, tourism and transport infrastructure which are critical for developing countries are more specifically affected. These impacts will often have implications for trade.