Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

What role does trade play in climate change?

October 19, 2021

With the Indian PM’s focus on fulfilling climate objectives, India, which is aiming to capture a larger piece of the economic pie after the impact of the US-China relationship amid an ongoing trade war, might take centre stage

One of the most pressing issues confronting the international community is climate change. SDG 13 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development asks for immediate action to prevent climate change and its consequences. The United Nations climate change agreement, which was signed in Paris in December 2015 and went into effect a year later, is already a big step forward in the worldwide fight against climate change. Many of the SDG targets can only be met if greenhouse gas emissions are reduced and greener, climate-resilient development is promoted. Small states, LDCs, and SSA countries, in particular, are extremely vulnerable to the physical effects of climate change.

“In the context of the 2017 hurricanes that had decimated some ACP Island States, noted the need to look at how the issue of perpetually vulnerable states whose situation has been made worse by climate change could be given special attention at the WTO,” says the ACP Group Declaration, issued on October 19, 2017 in Brussels. Indeed, most small states, LDCs, and SSA countries have the least capacity to manage risks and adjust to the environmental, economic, and social consequences of their current situation. Furthermore, there is always the possibility that international climate change mitigation legislation and other measures will erode these countries’ trade competitiveness.

Overall, the physical and regulatory effects of change can have an impact on their prospects for long-term development through trade. However, greater trade and investment opportunities in economic sectors linked to the transition to a reduced carbon or “green economy” may exist, and these should be sought. Agriculture, mining, fishing, forestry, and tourism are among the environment-sensitive sectors with substantial export concentrations in many Commonwealth countries.