Climate change poses tremendous risks to the viability of life on Earth as we know it as well as to the prospects for a prosperous future.
In this regard, international trade and investment frameworks that encourage and support the transition to a low-carbon economy are key. Indeed, open international markets are crucial for fostering access to mitigation and adaptation technologies, making them available at a competitive cost and large scale, as well as for enhancing access to products with relatively lower levels of embedded carbon.
At the same time, under the Paris Agreement’s decentralised nature, each country sets its own targets and chooses the measures to achieve them. Positive and negative spillover effects between interconnected economies are likely to occur. Competitiveness and carbon leakage concerns are expected to intensify, which may constrain the ambition of countries’ climate policies and prompt the introduction of controversial trade-related measures.
On the other hand, cooperation on climate measures can lead to a degree of alignment between national measures and help to reduce trade-related concerns. The global trade system can provide support for such cooperation.
In the context of the current uncertainty in the area of multilateral governance, ensuring equitable and inclusive growth worldwide requires guidance from the highest level and coordination on macro-economic policies. Moving in this direction will require firm leadership and participation of key players, and I strongly believe that the G20 has the potential to exercise leadership on this vital matter.
Against this background, ICTSD will host a working dinner on the G20’s competitive advantage on the linkages between global trade, climate change and energy policy. After brief introductions by ICTSD’s Senior Fellow Thomas L. Brewer, we will open up for an interactive and informal discussion.
To request an invitation to the dinner, please contact Ingrid Jegou at firstname.lastname@example.org.