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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Trade and climate change

Any lingering doubts about whether the Earth’s climate system is warming have been put to rest. In most recent assessments the Intergovernmental Trade and climate changePanel on Climate Change , the world’s leading authority in climate science, noted the evidence of global warming unequivocal. This reality and it’s potential economic , social and environmental implications have driven climate change to the top of the international political agenda.The issue is now so serious that any delay could push us past tipping point, beyond which the ecological, financial and human costs would increase drastically.

Since the warnings surrounding the climate change were first raised, it has been clear that it is as much as an economic challenge as an environmental one. Many a studies have shown that changing climate has serious implications for national economics, and most alarmingly for developing countries -dire consequences for critical economic sectors such as agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Addressing climate change also raises a number of economic concerns. Governments have long realized that responding to climate change challenges will require adjustments to national production patterns that could have major economic implications. But there has been a general reluctance to make these adjustments for fear of how this may impact industrial competitiveness .

Such economic and trade competitiveness concerns have been an inherent part of climate change discussions since the beginning and will continue remain as a key determining factor in the success of any future climate change agreements. There has , however, recently been increased attention on a wholly different aspects of climate change and trade relationship, namely how multilateral trade policy might be brought to bear in addressing climate change.

The type of trade policy that could be employed is- reducing trade barriers to climate friendly technologies in order to stimulate the global flow of these technologies.

-also strengthening WTO rules on subsidies that contribute to climate change and in creating safeguard for those subsidies that supports efforts to combat climate change.


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