Trade and Environment Programme at Rio+20 (en)
This month, as a part of the Rio+20 Conference, ITC’s trade and environment team held a series of events, focused on identifying concrete ways that developing country exporters can benefit from the transition to a green economy.
On 15 June, ITC, in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), held an official side event at the RioCentro convention centre, where government negotiators were finalizing the Rio+20 outcome document. The event aimed to contribute to and round-out the dialogue on trade and the green economy by identifying concrete examples of the trade challenges and opportunities developing countries currently face.
This event was followed up with a full day Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on Trade Opportunities in the Context of a Green Economy Transition, held on 18 June in Copacabana. Participants heard case studies on key export sectors such as renewable energy, environmental goods and services, and biodiversity-based products. The day concluded with a panel discussion with representatives from government, industry and NGOs on what the right policy environment is and necessary changes are for a fundamental shift towards sustainability.
At the centre of these events were the results of a recent study undertaken by ITC, UNEP and ICTSD, mapping and analysing the green trade opportunities for developing countries. In addition, the organizing partners also prepared and shared with participants a series of trade and environment briefing papers on key issues (see below for links to download these papers).
With many experts present in Rio for the Rio+20 Conference, ITC’s Trade and Environment team also presented its work on helping promote bio products in Peru as part of the 1st UNCTAD Bio Trade Congress. And in partnership with the Swedish Standards Institution, they presented ITC’s work on carbon standards and climate change mitigation in Kenya as a part of the ICTSD Trade and Sustainable Development Symposium.
With a deeper understanding on the green economy and its trade implications, ITC can better target its work to promote sustainable development, and explain its implications to SME clients and TSI partners. The results of these events will complement further discussions on policy reforms that can create and strengthen developing countries’ capacity to benefit from green trade opportunities.