The World Trade Organization, the World Bank Group and the World Economic Forum on 20 April launched “Action on Climate and Trade” (ACT), a new initiative that aims to help participating developing economies, including least-developed countries, use trade to meet their climate change mitigation and adaptation goals. The new initiative, which starts with a pilot phase, will focus on working with participating developing economies to develop climate-related analysis specific to their trade circumstances.
ACT will provide participating developing economies with tailored insights so that they can plan for the impacts of climate change on trade, leverage opportunities for climate action and trade growth, and define areas of collaboration with trade partners.
Analysis will be adapted to each economy's specific situation and will explore how trade policy can support the achievement of National Adaptation Plans and Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement on climate change. Egypt has taken interest in ACT and is likely to join the pilot phase.
Domestic stakeholders will be involved in ACT's policy analysis through public-private dialogues, providing participating economies with an opportunity to explore specific ways in which trade can be leveraged to enhance climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.
In addition, ACT will help policymakers and stakeholders in developing economies engage in international processes where appropriate, such as the WTO's Committee on Trade and Environment, and the WTO's Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions.
WTO Trade and Environment Division Director Aik Hoe Lim said: "The climate crisis is calling for rapid and effective collective action using every tool in the toolbox. Trade policy offers WTO members, including developing members, a wide variety of options to enhance their climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. This new pilot initiative by the World Bank Group, the World Economic Forum, and the WTO Secretariat will focus on supporting developing members to leverage trade to improve their climate resilience and decarbonization plans in a way that is aligned with their specific needs and local circumstances.”
Mona Haddad, Global Director for Trade, Investment and Competitiveness of the World Bank Group said: "By prioritizing sustainable practices and harnessing the power of international trade, developing countries can not only mitigate the impacts of climate change but also create new economic opportunities and build a better future for their citizens."
Sean Doherty, Head, International Trade and Investment, World Economic Forum, said:“Urgent action is needed to meet climate goals. Many companies are undertaking supply chain decarbonization and looking to green trade. Developing economies must be empowered to identify new opportunities and shape a future net-zero global economy."
As highlighted in the WTO's World Trade Report 2022, global cooperation on international trade and related investment needs to be mobilized to enhance the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, support a just low-carbon transition, and minimize trade frictions.
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