In her opening remarks, Mia Amor Mottley said: “If this COP is to be about action, then we need to be able to understand what restrains and constrains us from being able to achieve progress.”

Prime Minister Mottley stressed the need to reform international financial institutions so that they can do more for countries in the global South in their response to climate change. The multilateral development banks need new instruments that will allow them to make resources available to poor countries for their climate adaptation efforts and to address the impact of climate change, she added.    

DG Okonjo-Iweala warned that countries should learn from experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, where some trade policies such as export restrictions and prohibitions prevented vaccines and other inputs from reaching countries that needed them the most.  

She stressed that in the climate change context, trade policies can help unblock the technology or goods and services that will help countries adapt after an event or mitigate before an event. The Director-General noted that national action plans often do not incorporate trade policy and trade. “This is the missing element,” she stressed. 

DG Okonjo-Iweala noted that global supply chains for products necessary to help countries adapt to climate change and to transition to a low-carbon economy are very concentrated. She highlighted that work can be done to help countries, particularly in the South, diversify their economies, moving the manufacturing of these products into those countries and bringing them into global value chains. She added: “We kill two birds with one stone. We build resilience for the world, but at the same time we include those who have been left out.”

The Director-General noted that trade policies put in place to tackle climate change should not be discriminatory. She also underlined that there are around 70 fragmented systems for carbon pricing in the world and that different countries have different carbon taxes, prices and regulatory frameworks. This will have an impact on businesses and developing countries who have to deal with them, she stressed.

The Director-General continued: “We are advocating under the WTO for a global pricing framework, which will take into account the target we want of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, as agreed under the Paris Agreement.”

Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, said: “We need to think about and reform the role of multilateral financial institutions. And just as we need to consider the obligation of the developed world toward the developing world, we need to consider how companies that have contributed to climate change should contribute to helping us address this issue.”

Ms Hala El Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, of Egypt also participated in the session, which was moderated by Mariana Mazzucato, Professor at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose.




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