COP28 in UAE: Trade to feature for the first time at UN climate conference

The aim is to promote the use of trade and investment instruments to deliver climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions.

International trade will be featured at the COP28, a first during the UN climate summit, top officials said. The UAE mission to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) noted that trade would be subject to a dedicated day under the UAE’s COP28 presidency thematic programme – in particular, its role as an enabler of climate-smart growth, including supply-chain resilience.

The UAE Ministry of the Economy, Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, the Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and the COP28 Presidency will co-lead the committee on trade for COP28 alongside the WTO Secretariat. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development(UNCTAD), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the World Economic Forum (the Forum) and the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) have also all been invited to help shape discussions on trade.

This alliance, a first in the context of a UN Climate Conference, was created to promote the use of trade and investment instruments to deliver climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions. It also seeks to ensure open, equitable access to global supply chains, which will support small- and micro-enterprise growth worldwide, especially in the global south

Dr Al Zeyoudi said the inclusion of trade at COP28 demonstrates the UAE’s commitment to delivering actionable, real-world solutions. “As a global supply chain hub, the UAE understands how significant a role the international trading community can play in championing energy transition and delivering sustainable growth across the world.”

WTO’s Director General, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, noted that trade should be essential in any climate-change conversation. “We want to mobilise world leaders to unite in using trade policy and trade facilitation to scale up trade in environmental goods and services and to accelerate decarbonising supply chains and making them more inclusive and more resilient to climate shocks.”

r Sultan Al Jaber, COP28 President Designate, pointed out that international trade, as a cornerstone of economic growth, jobs, and livelihoods, is an essential tool in accelerating climate action.

“It has the potential to unlock investments in emerging economies, to boost uptake of clean energy technologies, and to support green jobs and innovation.”

Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), believed the inclusion of trade at COP28 reaffirms the UAE’s unwavering commitment to shaping the future of global trade to achieve sustainable development goals. “The UAE sees climate-change mitigation as a major catalyst for sustainable socio-economic development, underpinned by a smart and circular economic strategy that encourages the inclusive flow of trade, supply-chain efficiency, and trade tech, creating new opportunities for exporters, manufacturers and investors between all four nexuses of the world.”

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