Latin American Perspectives on Trade and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation: Policy Priorities and Recommendations for Action

Latin American countries are highly vulnerable to the impact of climate change, including changes in precipitation and the increased frequency of extreme weather events, which have a variety of impacts on their economies and on trade. In this context, these countries are increasingly engaged in efforts to foster an inclusive transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. Examples are its participation in the international regime for climate change and the implementation of national and regional mitigation and adaptation policies. These have generally focused on reducing deforestation rates, improving energy efficiency, replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy, or promoting sustainable production and consumption, including a circular economy model.

Trade and investment policies also play a critical role in this equation. On the one hand, increases in the frequency and intensity of climate hazards negatively impact agriculture and food security, for example, and damage business infrastructure. On the other hand, trade also plays a substantive role in mitigation and adaptation efforts by increasing the diffusion of environmental goods and services, including energy efficient products and clean energy technologies. Trade policies will also be part of the policy mix needed to facilitate access to and adoption of climate technologies, as well as to stimulate the development and transformation of critical sectors for low-carbon and climate-resilient development in Latin America.

Until now, the debate on trade and climate change has focused largely on the concerns, policies and proposals of the most advanced economies. Latin American countries have mostly reacted to such proposals, but less attention has been paid to advancing their own priorities on how cooperation on trade can support climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts on the continent and promote development. climate resilient development.

As a contribution to this debate, the United Nations Trade, Environment and SDGs Forum (TESS) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) are hosting a two-hour virtual regional consultation on September 21, 2022 with relevant stakeholders. of the region The workshop will provide the opportunity to:

  • Present the preliminary findings of a research paper by Lorena Palomo that provides a regional perspective and recommendations on how international cooperation on trade and trade-related policies can support climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts in Latin America and development climate resilient.
  • Solicit comments from experts and stakeholders on these findings and encourage the exchange of further information and input on relevant topics; Y
  • Discuss priority areas for action and recommendations on how international trade cooperation at the regional and multilateral levels could support climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts in Latin America and climate-resilient development on the continent.

The regional consultation will involve government representatives (including permanent missions to the World Trade Organization in Geneva), academics, and civil society organizations. The session will begin with a presentation of the preliminary results of the study followed by brief interventions by three commentators. The floor will then be open for an interactive discussion.

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Written by Editor TLN

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