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  • ISSUE 1/2010


  • The world's rapidly growing demand for resources, influenced by high growth rates and urbanization in countries such as China, India and Indonesia, is resulting in higher overall commodity prices, particularly for fuels. Yet there are technologies available which can help to ease the demand for fossil fuels in developing countries and to produce goods and services more efficiently. These technologies can also reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    In A Case for Climate Neutrality:Case Studies on Moving Towards a Low-Carbon Economy, participants of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Climate Neutral Network (CN Net) shared the challenges, rewards and occasional frustrations involved in pushing the boundaries on climate change.

    As countries grapple with the challenges of integrating economic interests with the management of climate change, trade and environmental policy have become increasingly entwined in the ongoing negotiations.

    Options for offsetting carbon emissions from our lives are numerous. Is offsetting really working or is it only calming our eco-conscience? The Swiss non-profit organization myclimate explains how its offsetting projects work in practice.

    Climate Change & Trade   International Trade Forum - Issue 1/2010 Climate change is the major, overriding global issue of our time and the single greatest challenge we face. It is a growing crisis with not only environmental concerns but economic, health and safe

    The International Coffee Organization considers that climate change will be one of the most important factors affecting future global coffee production, with smallholders the most vulnerable group.

    Climate change is the major, overriding global issue of our time and the single greatest challenge we face. It is a growing crisis with not only environmental concerns but economic, health and safety, food production, security and, of course, trade dimensions. However, a proactive approach to addressing climate change can also open opportunities in new markets and create new business prospects in developing countries. As many businesses are discovering, environmentally sustainable trade is good both for the planet and for business, too. In this online edition of Trade Forum we explore the challenges posed by climate change and the business opportunities that exist for entrepreneurial vision and innovation in tackling them. The success stories of businesses that implement renewable energy practices and new technologies and reduce CO2 emissions, while creating jobs and realizing cost-savings, offer inspiration for us all.

    Reducing carbon emissions and mitigating climate change are high on the global agenda and, as a development agency, ITC has embarked on the path to climate neu-trality.

    Science has delivered a grim message. Reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 90 per cent in the next 30 years or risk catastrophic climate change. The private sector and governments are taking their own initiatives to reduce the carbon footprint of consumption. This has important implications for developing country exporters.

    Online resources for the latest climate change news, updates, publications and practical tools.

    Outsourcing emissions to the developing worldWhen consumers in rich countries buy imported items, who is responsible for the emissions? Is it the consuming country or the country where it was produced?

    Almost 20 per cent of the world's carbon emissions come from deforestation. The carbon stored in forest biomass, deadwood, litter and soil together is more than all the carbon in the atmosphere, making forests one of the world's chief carbon sinks.

    In the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India, a project run by myclimate, a Swiss non-governmental organization, is creating new jobs and income opportunities, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions through new technology.

    Our world is unsustainable right now in the way it operates. Our incipient macroeconomic recovery is very fragile and will be unsustainable unless we have what we promised we would have but do not yet have - a green recovery. We will not even be able to manage a short-term macroeconomic recovery unless we integrate strategies for climate change mitigation and adaptation into our macroeconomic policies.

    Climate change and broader environmental concerns have, as yet, had only a relatively minor impact on shaping the direction of economic growth in South-East Asia. However, prospects for change are expanding with growing global concern and increasing competition for and pressure upon available agricultural land and water.

    Developed countries bound by emission reduction commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, and expecting even stricter emissions targets, have begun to introduce cap-and-trade and carbon tax systems. These raise production costs and undermine competitiveness. Producers from developed countries may relocate their production to countries with no carbon restrictions. To prevent job losses in their countries and an increase of emissions elsewhere ("carbon leakage"), developed countries may use border adjustment measures (BAMs) aimed at adjusting emissions costs and restoring a level playing field for domestic producers. Carbon import restrictions can also act as an incentive for producers from uncapped countries to cut emissions.

    What are the objectives of eco-packaging initiatives? From an environmental standpoint, eco-packaging avoids depletion of non-renewable resources, minimizes wastage and usage of raw materials, reduces pollution and energy consumption and, consequently, global warming and climate changes resulting from fossil fuel usage.

    Beyond CopenhagenThe UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) meeting in Copenhagen in December 2009 resulted in more than 100 countries backing a non-binding Copenhagen Accord. More than US$ 30 billion in climate aid for 2010 to 2012 was pledged to help poor nations face the impacts of climate change.

    Experts believe that climate change will hit countries in the Pacific islands first, as the low-lying island countries there have fewer barriers against the more extreme weather and predicted sea-level rises that are expected to threaten the main industries: fishing, tourism and agriculture. While the region's leaders seek ways to help people adapt, one organization, founded by Samoan businesswomen, is helping hundreds of families to protect their livelihoods by offering links to expanding niche markets. If crisis does strike, these families will have the resources to recover.

    Negotiations on liberalizing trade in Environ-mental Goods and Services (EGS) began with the launch of the Doha Round. Paragraph 31(iii) of the Doha mandate, agreed by all WTO members in 2001, calls for a reduction or elimination of tariffs and non-tariff barriers on EGS.