Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Trade and Climate with UNEP and others

Just spent two interesting days in Geneva (day 1 and day 2) where the links between trade and climate was discussed. Too much of the discussion focused on formal discussions and those from WTO defending the current trade system. Surprisingly little time was spent discussion what we need to do in order to deliver the necessary emission reductions.

Good to see that Benjamin Simmons is the lead on the trade/climate link at UNEP and that Ulrich Hoffman from UNCTAD is working hard to ensure that focus is on real results. Few if any people from China and India at the meeting though. So 30% of the global population and economies with a key role to play in the climate and trade was not represented, even if I did my best to bring an “emerging economy agenda” to the meeting.

The five areas of work that I presented was:

1. EGS: Developing and implementing a project based approach (tech trans/IPR/innovation)

2. Embedded CO2 in imported products: Turning an excuse for protectionism to an opportunity for innovative reform.

3. Dynamic effects of export: Exploring ways to estimate indirect and systemic effects of different products (outward investment)

4. Labels for sustainability (not reduced problems): Work with key label schemes to move from a product based approach to a service based approach

5. Supporting Sustainable export from China: Joint project with MOFCOM in China to explore support for sustainable trade

That the link between trade and climate is starting to reach mainstream discussions is very welcomed and hopefully we will see intensified discussions