While climate change is a global concern, its impacts are anticipated to bring about extraordinary hardship to developing countries, and especially to their poorest people. Indeed, exceptionally severe shocks from climate change can be expected in many of the world’s poorest countries, especially those that rely heavily on sectors that are highly exposed to climatic impacts, such as agriculture and fisheries.
In today’s interconnected world, trade policy and international regulatory frameworks are likely to determine decisions on allocation and use of resources. In this context, there are at least two dimensions in which climate change interfaces with trade policy that are relevant to poverty. On the one hand, as climate changes are expected to alter productivity in important economic sectors and to stress existing infrastructure, trade policy needs to be managed in a way that enables, rather than hampers, the necessary responses to adjust and adapt, that favour in particular the poor. On the other hand, policy responses to climate change should be crafted and implemented in ways that preclude perverse impacts on growth opportunities of developing countries, including on trade-driven sectors of the economy relevant to the poor.
This ICTSD roundtable discussion, which forms part of the Geneva Roundtables Series on Climate Change, Trade and Development 2010-2011, will first explore the inter-linkages between trade, poverty and climate change, in order to support well-informed policy responses in these areas. Then, particular focus will be lent to issues of financing, including a look at how to make climate change financing and aid for trade complementary and mutually reinforcing, which is crucial to addressing the climate change adaptation needs and specific supply-side constrain of developing countries.
Interpretation will be available in English, French and Spanish.