Climate change deal crucial to greener trade: WTO

Written by Agencies | Geneva | Updated: Jun 27 2009, 02:11am hrs
A global climate change deal in Copenhagen is crucial to ensure that world trade becomes a catalyst for the greening of the economy rather than an obstacle, trade and environmental chiefs said today.

Business as usual will not prevail, said UN Environment Programme Executive Director Achim Steiner at the launch of a joint report on climate change with the World Trade Organisation.

The transition to a green economy is the backdrop against which trade must evolve, he told WTO member states at a meeting in Geneva.

Steiner and WTO Director General Pascal Lamy underlined the potentially defining impact on the shape of the world economy of ongoing but separate negotiations on opening up trade and tackling global warming.

With a challenge of this magnitude, multilateral cooperation is crucial and a successful conclusion to the ongoing climate change negotiations is the first step to achieving sustainable development for future generations, they said in a statement.

Attempts to forge a new deal on global warming in Copenhagen in December are foundering.

Meanwhile, the Doha round of talks at the WTO has virtually ground to a halt in its long-running bid to expand free trade, mainly to help developing nations.