Okonjo-Iweala: We Want to Demonstrate Trade is Part of Solution to Climate Crisis

*WTO partners UNCTAD, ICC, ITC on ‘Trade House’

Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja

The Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, yesterday, stated that her organisation wants to demonstrate that trade was part of the solution to the global climate crisis in partnership with three other world bodies.
Okonjo-Iweala, stated this as the WTO  and partner organisations unveiled Trade House pavilion for the forthcoming United Nations (UN) COP28 climate summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The WTO is partnering the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) — as a pioneering initiative that highlights trade’s pivotal role in providing solution to the climate crisis.
Speaking at the unveiling of the Trade House pavilion, Okonjo-Iweala said the WTO and its partners would bring to the table a menu of trade policy actions that could help countries reach net zero.

She stated: “I invite you to the first ever Trade House pavilion, a new aspect of COP28 together with Trade Day. We want to demonstrate that trade is part of the solution to the climate crisis.
“To support our discussions, we will bring to the table a menu of trade policy actions that could help countries reach net zero.”
For the first time, trade has been spotlighted as a specific theme at the UAE conference, as outlined in the thematic programme announced by the COP28 Presidency, hosted by the United Arab Emirates.

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Trade House would fortify this focus on trade by providing a dedicated space to spark discussions and solutions on how trade can help drive climate and sustainable development actions.
Activities at the Trade House would focus on accelerating climate action through trade-led development, using coordinated and inclusive approaches, to ensure a just transition to a low-carbon economy.

Speaking at the unveiling of the Tade House, ICC Secretary-General, John W.H. Denton AO said: “Effective policy frameworks and strengthened supply chains are essential to combatting climate change.

“ICC’s role as a co-convenor of the Trade House is a clear signal that the business community is not only part of the solution — but leading the charge for a more robust global trading system. This space will enable our organisations, stakeholders, and partners to explore these issues in the heart of the COP28 Blue Zone.”
In his remarks, ITC Executive Director Pamela Coke-Hamilton 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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“Trade has a vital role to play in driving sustainable development through climate action, leaving no one behind. Join us and our partners at the Trade House.”
On her part, UNCTAD Secretary-General, Rebeca Grynspan said: “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.

“This starts with the international organisations with a trade mandate joining forces, and UNCTAD is pleased to work with our partners to host this first Trade House pavilion at COP28.”

The UN COP28 conference would be held in Dubai, UAE between November 30 and December 12, 2023.

The venue for the summit is Expo City Dubai, a huge site in the south of the city, first built for the World Expo 2020.

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