Green Economy and Trade: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities

United Nations Environment Programme

[From Press Release] …At the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) held in June 2012, governments agreed to the outcome document The Future We Want, which makes a commitment to help countries implement clear and practical measures for transitioning to green economies. This document affirms international trade as an engine for development and sustained economic growth…

This timely report sets out the main trends, drivers and requirements for trade in a green economy, and identifies specific challenges and opportunities for developing countries. It provides analysis of green trade opportunities in six sectors: Agriculture, Fisheries, Forests, Manufacturing, Renewable Energy and Tourism.

This report identifies several opportunities to create or improve trade flows in terms of both revenue and sustainability, including:

– increased economic competitiveness by increasing resource efficiency in production processes,
– innovation through design of environmentally friendly and sustainable products,
– improved access to and benefits from sustainable global value chains,
– exports of certified products and also non-certified sustainably produced products,
– trade in sustainably-produced products destined to innovative markets,
– trade in environmental goods and services.

The report has been prepared under the auspices of UNEP’s Green Economy and Trade Opportunities Project (GE-TOP). The chapters have been discussed by government officials, private sector representatives and other stakeholders during four international workshops. The report has subsequently been reviewed by more than 200 experts, including the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and the International Trade Centre (ITC)


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