The design and implementation of ambitious climate change mitigation measures is key for paving the way for a low-carbon future. At the same time, the implementation of these measures may also impact social and economic objectives, including in other countries. To minimize any policy conflicts in this regard, it is necessary that possible negative impacts of response measures are being properly addressed.
Discussions on response measures remain an important piece of the UNFCCC negotiating process. At COP 23, countries shared views and experiences on the impact response measures may have across countries and how economic diversification and a just transition of the workforce could help mitigate these effects. While a just transition of the workforce is needed to make the shift to a low-GHG economy equitable, economic diversification could provide the necessary framework to achieve this transition – and trade has an important role to play in this context. While trade can function as an enabler for a just transition, cutting across the various domains relevant to climate policy and sustainable development, the challenge is to ensure that it helps all countries share the benefits of transforming their economies.
It is against this backdrop that UNCTAD and UNFCCC organised this COP 23 side event to look at economic diversification, a just transition of the workforce and global value chains in the context of sustainable development. ICTSD was represented by Andrei Marcu, Senior Fellow, ICTSD and Director, ERCST who participated as a speaker in the roundtable.