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Greening Trade – Making New Global Trade Agendas Work for a Just Climate and Sustainability Transition

March 8, 2024

Our 12-page report explores the pivotal role of international trade in advancing a just climate and sustainability transition. Sector-specific approaches, transparent and internationally-harmonised sustainable finance frameworks, and equitable international collaboration are key to leveraging this potential. 

Our key points: 

  • International trade significantly impacts global CO2 emissions. To effectively mitigate climate change, we thus need to align trade with climate and sustainability goals. 
  • To achieve greener trade practices, we need to build trust between different countries and expertise areas. Sustainable finance instruments can be key in fostering higher transparency and thus building the basis for trust. 
  • Philanthropy can play a crucial role in merging climate, environment, and trade strategies as well as fostering equitable global collaboration. 
  • We are at a pivotal point in time regarding the global collaboration on greening trade. Focusing on key sectors (with high levels of both trade and emissions) and making the implementation of EU green trade regulations, like the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR), a success, will be key. 

Our 7 key recommendations for philanthropic action in the climate & trade nexus: 

  1. Enhance collaboration and build trust across jurisdictions and expertise areas to facilitate equitable governance solutions for green trade.
  2. Support plurilateral approaches to international cooperation on green trade.
  3. Enable capacity development for green trade negotiations and implementations, particularly in lower-income countries.
  4. Promote harmonised disclosure frameworks and a common-ground taxonomy to facilitate greener trade internationally.
  5. Support the development and implementation of sector-specific approaches, for instance, for the sectors under the scope of CBAM. 
  6. Explore and implement transition finance schemes, and support the use of revenues from mechanisms like carbon taxes for just transition finance initiatives.
  7. Fund pilot projects to test support mechanisms for local farmers, communities, and SMEs to ensure they benefit from green trade initiatives.