COP28 in UAE: Top trade bodies to host 'Trade House pavilion' in Dubai

Conference to bring experts and climate policymakers together for the first time in a UN climate conference


Waheed Abbas

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Expo taxi will ferry visitors around the Expo City Dubai. Photo by Neeraj Murali
Expo taxi will ferry visitors around the Expo City Dubai. Photo by Neeraj Murali

Published: Sun 29 Oct 2023, 2:19 PM

The world’s top trade bodies, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), and the International Trade Centre (ITC) will host the “Trade House pavilion” at the 28th UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, bringing trade and climate policymakers and experts together for the first time in a UN climate conference.

The 28th edition of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) will be held at Expo City, Dubai, from November 30 to December 12.

For the first time, trade has been spotlighted as a specific theme at the UN conference, as trade-related emissions contribute roughly a quarter of all carbon dioxide emissions globally. Climate-related measures, such as industrial policies, carbon pricing and related border adjustments, are increasingly affecting trade and investment, with serious potential development impact.

“We want to demonstrate that trade is part of the solution to the climate crisis… We will bring to the table a menu of trade policy actions that could help countries reach net zero,” said Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director-general of WTO.

“Climate and trade policies need to work together. As the world is coping with the devastating effects of global warming, it’s time for trade to play its role in shaping climate action that fosters inclusive and sustainable development,” said Rebeca Grynspan, secretary general of UNCTAD.

The pavilion will have expert panel discussions on topics such as ensuring a just energy transition from a development perspective, South-South trade in environmentally preferable goods and services, and trade-related measures to advance the implementation of nationally determined contributions.

Panellists will also discuss the role of plastic substitutes, sustainable investment, finance and the blue economy in supporting the just transition.

Pamela Coke-Hamilton, executive director of the International Trade Centre, said a low-carbon transition must be just and inclusive, with small businesses driving the change, especially those led by women, young people, indigenous peoples and members of marginalised groups.


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