The climate-trade nexus is also relevant because African countries and businesses face a rapidly changing global market place and regulatory environment as investors and consumers prioritise climate action and as governments in key export markets adopt an array of trade-related climate measures and green industrial policies. Regional integration processes, such as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), will also have an important role to play in supporting transformative industrialization of Africa and sustainable development in the region while facilitating a transition to a low carbon and more resilient economy.
At the global level, however, the debate on trade and climate change has largely focused on concerns, policies, and proposals of more advanced economies. African countries have so far mostly reacted to such proposals but have not yet advanced their own priorities on how cooperation on trade can support climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts in the continent and advance climate resilient development.
As a contribution to ongoing discussions, TESS and the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance at the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa hosted a regional consultation involving stakeholders from the region. The workshop provided an opportunity to:
- present the preliminary findings from a research paper by Professor Faizel Ismail providing a regional perspective and recommendations on how international cooperation on trade and trade-related policies can support climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts in Africa and climate resilient development;
- solicit stakeholder feedback on these findings and spur sharing of further information and inputs on relevant topics; and
- discuss priority areas for action and recommendations for how international cooperation on trade at the regional and multilateral level could support climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts in Africa and climate resilient development in the continent.
The regional consultation witnessed participation from over 25 participants including government representatives and permanent missions to the World Trade Organization in Geneva, academia, and civil society organizations.