specialists focus on greening help for commerce to realize sustainable growth | Information | SDG Information Heart

Specialists from commerce, surroundings and sustainable growth gathered for a webinar, hosted by the Worldwide Institute for Sustainable Growth (IISD) and the Discussion board on Commerce, Setting and SDGs (TESS), to debate the alternatives and challenges related to greening Assist for Commerce within the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Growth.

Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Government Director of IISD Europe, delivered the opening speech. Noting that Assist for Commerce is an integral a part of SDG 8, specifically goal 8.a on rising Assist for Commerce assist to growing and least developed international locations (LDCs) she mentioned extra was wanted to make it an engine of poverty discount and inexperienced development and referred to as for built-in coverage approaches. As members of the World Commerce Group (WTO) put together for the 2022 World Evaluate of the Assist for Commerce initiative, Bernasconi-Osterwalder mentioned making certain these efforts incorporate sustainability concerns is crucial for a powerful, inexperienced and inclusive restoration from COVID-19.

Soledad Leal Campos, Head of Sustainable Commerce, IISD, moderated the dialogue. She mentioned the webinar aimed to:

  • hint the origins and evolution of the Assist for Commerce initiative and its relationship to the SDGs;
  • see how environmental concerns have been included within the Assist for Commerce discussions and the way they’ve been put ahead by totally different actors; and
  • trade views on the principle coverage points at stake, reminiscent of what is required to allow the initiative to raised assist growing international locations obtain their sustainable growth targets.

Carolyn Deere Birkbeck, Director of TESS, reviewed a forthcoming scoping paper on Greening Assist for Commerce, which she mentioned requires assist for growing international locations and LDCs to ensure they don’t seem to be deprived or marginalized. Deere Birkbeck indicated that whereas Assist for Commerce accounts for round 25% of official growth help (ODA), the main target is on its environmental facets, inexperienced Assist for Commerce funding is properly underway. wants and the related sources of funding are poorly built-in. She mentioned Assist for Commerce greening actions should consider the precept of frequent however differentiated tasks (CBDR) and competitiveness issues and make sure that commerce guidelines and insurance policies meet international locations’ wants. in growth. Deere Birkbeck described an Assist-for-Commerce method that places growing international locations “firmly within the driver’s seat,” incorporates environmental concerns and provides funding according to growing nation priorities.

Olivier Cattaneo, Head of Coverage Evaluation and Technique Unit, Growth Co-operation Directorate, Group for Financial Co-operation and Growth (OECD), confused that the intention of Assist for Commerce is to make sure that growing international locations that lack primary infrastructure and commerce capability can nonetheless profit from commerce. He briefed members on an OECD database, which incorporates Assist-for-Commerce knowledge and challenge descriptions, and makes use of environmental markers to establish key tendencies. He described the continued efforts to modernize the statistical software by augmenting it with synthetic intelligence to keep away from greenwashing.

Michael Roberts, Assist-for-Commerce Coordinator, Growth Division, WTO, defined how environmental concerns are more and more included in Assist-for-Commerce priorities. He recognized the necessity for additional alignment of the priorities of donor and recipient international locations.

A panel targeted on the alternatives, dangers and challenges that discussions on Inexperienced Assist for Commerce ought to deal with, and shared views on how this agenda could possibly be continued, together with when the Twelfth WTO Ministerial Convention (MC12), scheduled for November 30 to December 3, 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland, and through the World Evaluate of Assist for Commerce in 2022. A number of audio system recommended an announcement ministerial that might deal with environmental sustainability points.

Rashid Kaukab, Government Director of CUTS Worldwide, Geneva, recognized three important tendencies in Assist for Commerce: a transfer in direction of additional diversification and structural transformation to fulfill the wants of growing international locations and LDCs; an initiative to look at the hyperlinks between gender points and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), amongst others; and efforts to align with the SDGs. He famous a decline in Assist for Commerce as a result of pandemic, as ODA is used for “extra pressing” wants and recognized alternatives to “construct again higher collectively”. Among the many challenges, Kaukab talked about the necessity to “do extra with much less”; balancing fast wants with long-term wants; and keep away from top-down approaches to make sure possession by beneficiaries.

Stacey Mills, advisor, Setting and Commerce Hub, United Nations Setting Program (UNEP), mentioned growing international locations face the problem of “double publicity” to financial and environmental dangers reminiscent of worth shocks commodities, local weather change and desertification. She gave examples of how Inexperienced Assist for Commerce might help growing international locations construct resilience and assist efforts to realize the SDGs, together with:

  • Present capability constructing assist to assist companies make the most of new inexperienced export alternatives and combine into sustainable provide chains;
  • Help the event of key enterprise infrastructure resilient to local weather change;
  • Help local weather change adaptation measures to strengthen key export sectors reminiscent of tourism and agriculture;
  • Promote investments in renewable energies and using extra environment friendly applied sciences in manufacturing processes; and
  • Help commerce insurance policies that defend the ecosystems that underpin financial exercise and commerce.

Choices for rising the Assist-for-Commerce contribution recognized by Mills embrace:

  • Sensitize donors and associate international locations to the potential of Assist for Commerce to advertise resilience and inexperienced development;
  • Work with beneficiaries to assist establish enterprise and environmental challenges and priorities;
  • Mainstreaming local weather and environmental concerns into Assist-for-Commerce planning and initiatives; and
  • Safe extra funding from Assist for Commerce.

Liesbeth Casier, Senior Coverage Advisor, IISD, highlighted the “cross-cutting” nature of infrastructure in relation to SDGs, specifically SDGs 1 (no poverty), 2 (zero starvation), 6 (clear water and sanitation), 7 (clear and inexpensive vitality), 9 (business, innovation and infrastructure) and 11 (sustainable cities and communities). If “executed proper,” she mentioned, infrastructure might help cut back poverty, create jobs and promote the well-being of individuals and the planet, amongst different advantages. Casier referred to as for built-in approaches to infrastructure, from planning to procurement to financing, that combine environmental advantages reminiscent of local weather resilience and sustainability. She highlighted IISD’s work on: local weather danger assessments of infrastructure initiatives within the transport sector; and financial and monetary evaluation of speedy transit bus infrastructure in Dakar, Senegal.

Annegret Brauss, Coordinator of the GreenToCompete Initiative, Worldwide Commerce Heart (ITC), defined how Inexperienced Assist for Commerce can assist MSMEs in growing international locations. She mentioned the inexperienced transition could possibly be “the best enterprise alternative”, and though MSMEs have been positioned within the place of “taker of what is to come back”, they’re “on this sport to not survive. however to prosper “. Brauss famous that in line with ITC’s SME Competitiveness Outlook 2021, practically 60% of African companies report the advantages of being inexperienced, reminiscent of new and higher merchandise, entry to markets, decrease manufacturing prices and entry to inexperienced finance. Among the many examples, she talked about the espresso sector in Uganda the place espresso pulp is used to supply compost. Brauss underscored the necessity for Assist for Commerce to mirror inexperienced priorities, from wants evaluation to implementation, and to give attention to creating new alternatives and ecosystems, which a- she mentioned, “will put total sectors on a extra environmentally pleasant trajectory”.

Ambassador Muhammad Mujtaba Piracha, Everlasting Consultant of Pakistan to the WTO, mentioned members have actively contributed to surroundings and commerce discussions on the WTO, together with via structured discussions on commerce and environmental sustainability (TESSD) and the Casual Dialogue on Plastic Air pollution and Environmental Safety. Commerce in sustainable plastics. He warned that the “transformational realignment” is not going to be straightforward as many growing international locations concern excessive adjustment prices that would embrace customers paying extra for merchandise with inexperienced credentials and carbon border adjustment measures. Ambassador Piracha underscored Assist for Commerce’s catalytic position in serving to to grasp the dimensions of the problem and mobilize crucial supply-side infrastructure for inexperienced transformation. He described the plastic restoration and recycling efforts in Pakistan, the place Assist for Commerce might assist foster an inclusive inexperienced financial system by integrating the casual sector.

The UK authorities offered assist for the webinar. [SDG Knowledge Hub Sources] [Webinar Landing Page]

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