Climate-Driven Trade: WTO, World Bank, and WEF Empower Developing Economies

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The World Economic Forum (WEF), World Trade Organization (WTO), and World Bank have launched Action on Climate and Trade (ACT), a pilot initiative aimed at assisting developing economies in leveraging trade to achieve their climate change goals, as reported by Maritime Fairtrade.

Trade circumstances 

The collaboration will involve developing climate-related analysis tailored to each country’s trade circumstances, with the participation of domestic stakeholders through public-private dialogues. The initiative recognizes the need for urgent action to address climate change and emphasizes the importance of aligning trade with sustainability objectives. Global cooperation on trade and investment is crucial in mitigating and adapting to climate change, supporting a just low-carbon transition, and minimizing trade frictions.

Pilot initiative 

The World Bank Group, World Economic Forum, and WTO Secretariat have launched a pilot initiative aimed at supporting developing countries in leveraging trade to enhance their climate resilience and decarbonization efforts. The initiative recognizes the potential of trade policy in helping countries address the climate crisis and emphasizes the importance of tailoring strategies to each country’s specific needs and circumstances. The World Bank Group report underscores the benefits that developing economies can gain by improving their trade and environmental policies.

Sustainable practices 

The World Bank Group emphasizes the potential of sustainable practices and international trade to help developing countries mitigate climate change impacts and create economic opportunities. The World Economic Forum has identified 25 key technologies and services that trade policymakers should prioritize to accelerate emission reductions. These technologies span various sectors, including refrigerants, energy supply, buildings, transport, and carbon capture and storage. The Forum highlights the importance of business supply chains in driving sustainability and believes that trade policy can address inclusive trade challenges effectively.

Developing economics

The Action on Climate and Trade (ACT) initiative aims to provide tailored insights to developing economies, especially the least developed ones, to effectively plan for the trade impacts of climate change. It seeks to help these economies leverage climate-trade opportunities and foster collaboration with trade partners. The initiative will conduct country-level analysis to explore how trade policy tools can support a country’s climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, aligning with their National Adaptation Plans or Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement. ACT follows a multistakeholder, bottom-up approach, similar to the structure of the Paris Agreement, where each country determines its climate efforts based on its priorities, interests, and challenges, with strong stakeholder contributions. Egypt has shown interest in joining the pilot phase of the initiative.

Furthermore, ACT will assist policy-makers and stakeholders from developing economies in participating in relevant global processes, such as the WTO’s Committee on Trade and Environment and Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions. It will facilitate their engagement in initiatives like the newly launched Coalition of Trade Ministers on Climate.


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Source: Maritime Fairtrade