Developing countries in pole position to make international trade more sustainable
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has launched a new report emphasising the need to make international trade ‘greener’ to mitigate its negative environmental impacts. The publication, ‘Green Economy and Trade – Trends, Challenges and Opportunities’, particularly highlights the role that developing countries can play in driving this transition forward. Read more…
The report is UNEP’s first output under the Green Economy and Trade Opportunities Project (GE-TOP), which seeks to identify policies and measures to help developing countries overcome challenges and respond to export demand for environmental goods and services. Over recent decades, international trade has continued to expand, contributing to economic growth and to the eradication of poverty. However, this has placed further strain on natural resources and contributed to social inequalities.
The report highlights the opportunities available to developing countries in making international trade more sustainable and reducing its environmental impacts. It talks particularly about the potential role of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Increased trade in certified products and environmental goods and services, coupled with the LDCs’ heavy reliance on renewable resources for their exported products, means they are well-positioned to exploit opportunities to increase their share of the international sustainable goods and services market.
The report analyses six economic sectors where opportunities exist – agriculture, fisheries, forests, manufacturing, renewable energy and tourism. It identifies a number of measures, including policy reforms and certification that could help developing countries benefit from these markets. It suggests actions such as public investment in key areas, market-based instruments, and regulatory frameworks. The report says that these would facilitate greater access for developing countries to greener international markets.
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