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Africa, while a small contributor to global warming, is a region disproportionately affected by the adverse consequences of climate change. Adaptation and mitigation efforts, which will need to be adequately financed, must also be supported by meaningful policy frameworks. This is crucial to enable a necessary scale-up of clean energy, with associated benefits for social, economic and environmental development, even beyond climate-change mitigation.

Access to clean energy through grid-connected and off-grid renewable electricity sources as well as cleaner cooking fuels and modern stoves could reduce emissions associated with deforestation and slash indoor air-pollution related deaths. It will bring electricity to 640 million people on the continent that currently lack such access. It can also ensure local job-creation and skill development. Furthermore it enables greater energy security by helping net-oil importing African nations cut down on expensive fossil-fuel imports and channel scarce resources to more productive use. Africa not surprisingly has just launched the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) at COP21 in Paris. With the aim of producing 300 GW of electricity for the continent by 2030, the initiative’s goals are to help achieve sustainable development, enhance well-being and sound economic development by ensuring universal access to sufficient amounts of clean, appropriate and affordable energy.

Trade-policy should be one of the supportive frameworks for the AREI and can play a positive role in the scale-up of grid and off-grid clean energy. While many countries aim to protect domestic industry, facilitating imports of clean energy technologies (CETs) could lower costs of access to technologies and thereby lower costs of access to energy and climate change mitigation. 

This ICTSD panel discussion brought together industry experts, government trade and energy policy makers from the region as well as donor agencies and civil society organisations to discuss these questions and explore possible ways forward.

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Nairobi, Kenya
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Thursday, 17 December 2015 - 3:15pm

In the light of the complex links between trade and climate change, there is scope for deepening the conceptual debate and ensuring that the global trade system is supportive of and being effectively used for climate action.

While there are many opportunities to work through RTAs to advance climate action, issues remain which need to be addressed by the WTO. This is the case for broad, systematic matters like acknowledging climate change as a rationale for exceptions from the general principles under Article XX, or for more specific issues like allowing more flexibility in the use of clean energy subsidies. Speakers from the expert groups on Climate Change and Clean Energy Technologies addressed how the WTO rulebook could be better equipped to stimulate a scale up of clean energy supply and use and how it can support bottom-up responses to climate change, including climate clubs. 

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Nairobi, Kenya
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Wednesday, 16 December 2015 - 10:45am

Tackling climate change in a sufficient and timely manner requires a concerted effort and significant changes across different policy areas. In today’s globalised economy, the roles of trade and investment need to be considered in this context.

Wide-ranging climate-related policies will inevitably have major effects on all levels of the international economy, including on energy supply and use, production and consumption patterns, international competitiveness, and transport. Many of these will have implications for trade, which may result in tensions as already evidenced by an increasing number of climate-related trade disputes.  

At the same time, trade offers important solutions to climate change. Not only can trade help achieve a more efficient resource use, contribute to scaling up climate-friendly technologies, and support a shift to a cleaner energy mix, but trade policy frameworks also offer opportunities for collaboration.

For example, recent regional trade agreements explicitly refer to climate change and, in some cases, include specific climate provisions. Trade instruments can also support the development of bottom-up responses to climate change, including for example climate clubs.

In light of the many complex interlinkages between trade and climate change, there is scope for deepening the conceptual debate and taking action to ensure that the global trade system is supportive of and being effectively used for climate action.

It is against this background that the International Centre of Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and the World Economic Forum have established two expert groups under their joint E15 Initiative project to explore policy options in the areas of climate change and clean energy and assess their interaction with trade. These two groups have been implemented in partnership with Climate Strategies, and with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and Chatham House respectively.

This event showcased and discussed analysis and proposals from the E15 Initiative project, focusing on two main areas among the many issues covered. First, how the global trade system could be better equipped to stimulate a scale-up of clean energy supply and use, and second, how it can support bottom-up responses to climate change, including for example through climate clubs. 

The event took place on Saturday, 5 December from 14:30-17:00 in the IETA & WBCSD Business Hub (Hall 3 No. 4). 

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Place: 
Paris, France
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Updates: 
The Case for Climate ClubsCreating a club of carbon markets: Implications of the trade systemAddressing Climate Change: A WTO Exception to Incorporate Climate ClubsWhat Has Climate to Fear from Trade?Subsidies, Clean Energy, and Climate ChangeSecuring Policy Space for Clean Energy under the SCM Agreement: Alternative ApproachesClimate Change and a Renewable Energy Scale Up: Responding to Challenges Posed to the WTOPushing the Renewable Energy Agenda Forward: Some Select Lessons from the GATSDoes it FIT? An Assessment of the Effectiveness of Renewable Energy Measures and of the Implications of the Canada-Renewable Energy/FIT disputesTrade Remedies on Clean Energy: A New Trend in Need of Multilateral InitiativesTrade Remedies and Development of Renewable EnergyClean Energy and Access to Infrastructure: Implications for the Global Trade SystemRenewable Energy and Process and Production Methods
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Event
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English
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Date: Saturday, 5 December 2015

Time. 14:30-17:00

Accreditation: Please note that this venue is in the blue zone of the COP. Participants are therefore required to be in the possession of UNFCCC...

Date period: 
Saturday, 5 December 2015 - 5:36pm