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Trade and Environment Review 2009/2010

Promoting Poles of Clean Growth to Foster the Transition to a More Sustainable Economy

image of Trade and Environment Review 2009/2010

While several rapidly industrializing developing countries have not seen a major slump in their growth by the recent economic and financial crises, UNCTAD’s Trade and Environment Review 2009/2010 (TER 09/10) focuses on the 140 plus low-income and least developed countries, which have not caused the economic, financial, climate and food crises, but have to bear the full brunt of these crises. The stress of the global financial crisis — as well as concerns about climate change and food prices — should be used by developing countries to shift towards clean growth. Because so little has been done in such nations huge gains can be realized in improving energy efficiency, enhancing sustainable agricultural methods, and stimulating the use of rural, off-grid renewable energy. But to make this progress happen, governments must eliminate market barriers and policies that prevent the flow of capital into these promising sectors.

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Preface

This Trade and Environment Review is about finding a policy response to one of the defining challenges of our times – climate change. Meeting that challenge – and reducing the greenhouse gas intensity of the global economy by any meaningful amount – will require landslide changes in the approach to economic development. It will mean a thorough rethinking of national, regional and international economic and trade policymaking. The enormity of these tasks, and the complexity of the decisions ahead, is further compounded by the current economic recession, the ongoing global food crisis and the poverty-reduction imperative, all of which are interrelated.

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