Trade Forum Features

Climate Change & Trade

15 June 2011
ITC News


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 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.


As world business and political leaders work towards a post-2012 global climate agreement, the impact of climate change is already a daily challenge in many parts of the world.

Across the developing world, new initiatives for reducing carbon emissions, combined with the increased potential for South–South trade in environmental goods and services, are paving the way for economic growth.

There is an urgency to respond to climate change challenges that invites innovative thinking and cooperation. We need policy and practices that bolster sustainable trade opportunities while protecting our greatest resource – the environment.

Albert Einstein, one of history’s greatest thinkers, once said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

From ITC’s point of view, the implications of climate change are at the forefront of all trade development policy and business decisions we make. Our commitment to sustainable business practices encompasses the support we deliver to our clients and the changes we are making to our own operations to reduce CO2 emissions.

Similarly, we urge trade support institutions and policymakers to embrace the opportunities and new market potential by adopting export and trade strategies that are environmentally sustainable.


Patricia Francis

Executive Director

International Trade Centre