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Trade, Finance and Climate in 2009

IES Representative in New York, Harris Gleckman, says "A reporting system that addresses the trade, monetary and climate side of it must be established"
15 September 2008

Harris Gleckman, New York representative of the IESOn Monday 15 September 2008, the Institute for Environmental Security, GLOBE Europe and GLOBE EU, in association with the European Economic and Social Committee and EurActiv organised a Seminar on Trade, Finance and Climate intituled ?The Perfect Storm?. More than 70 participants met at the EESC to discuss the necessity to reform the major trade and financial institutions, in order to reach an agreement on climate at the Copenhagen COP15 by the end of 2009.

MEP Caroline Lucas highlighted the lack of coherence between trade and environmental visions and underlined the importance of discussing trade-related measures in the UNFCCC and find a way to include them in the international trade regime. ?The challenge of the trade regime is to ensure that trade rules will incorporate any trade-related environmental measures that are included in the international climate packet?, she said, concluding that ?it will require a new imaginative thinking and a lot more dialogue between WTO and UNFCCC?. Legal Officer at UNEP Economic and Trade Branch, Benjamin Simmons, explained that existing WTO rules and mechanisms should be strenghtened to provide positive input into global climate talks.

?WTO rules do not hinder climate action? argued Head of Unit in DG Trade, Ditte Juul-Joergensen and WTO Advisor, Doaa Abdel Motaal who explained that it was necessary to reach an agreement at Copenhagen first so that WTO members could re-adjust their trading policies accordingly.

Highlighting some of the findings of the December 2007 UNFCCC Bali Conference, IES representative in New York Harris Gleckman (featured on the picture) concluded that ?there are a lot of creative ways in which one can develop waivers, exception, temporary fixes to the trade regime but there is no sound reason, given the severity of the issue, that arrangements in those areas should not be given high priority?. Gleckman then insisted that those involved in the World Bank Group on the "Strategic Framework on Climate Change and Development" should simply say "no, thank you" as it does not deal with the important issues raised in Bali. Finally, he urged the establishment of a reporting system that addresses the trade, monetary and climate side of it in order to have the foundation for enhanced monetary and climate coherence in these areas.

At the end of the day, all speakers agreed on the necessity to take action now to obtain better coherence between trade, finance and climate policies in the run up to and the implementation of a post-2012 agreement on climate.

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