ITC's Rio+20 events put spotlight on green opportunities

22 June 2012
ITC News
ITC’s Trade and Environment team helps explore what green economy means for trade by identifying challenges and opportunities for developing countries.

As a part of the Rio+20 Conference held on 13-22 June, ITC’s Trade and Environment team hosted a series of events that focused on identifying ways that exporters in developing countries 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 sought to contribute to and expand the dialogue on trade and the green economy by identifying examples of the trade challenges and opportunities faced by developing countries.

A multi-stakeholder dialogue — Trade Opportunities in the Context of a Green Economy Transition — which was a full-day event, was held on 18 June in Copacabana. Participants heard case studies on important export sectors such as renewable energy, environmental goods and services, and biodiversity-based products. The day was concluded with a panel discussion with representatives from government, industry and NGOs who exchanged views on what the right policy environment is and changes are necessary to achieve a fundamental shift towards sustainability.

Green trade opportunities

At the centre of these events were the results of a recent study undertaken by ITC, UNEP and ICTSD, that maps and analyses green trade opportunities for developing countries. The organizing partners also prepared and shared with participants a series of trade and environment briefing papers on key issues (see below).

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 BioTrade Congress. In partnership with the Swedish Standards Institution, the team 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 for clients and partners such as small and medium-sized enterprises and trade-support institutions. The results of these events will complement and advance further discussions on policy reforms that can create and strengthen developing countries’ capacity to benefit from green trade opportunities.


Policy briefings

Executive summary: Green economy and trade opportunities 

Trade and green economy 

Export restrictions 

Sustainable agriculture 

Sustainable fisheries  

International transport 

Environmental goods 

Environmental services 

Sustainability standards for consumer goods 

Product carbon-footprint standards