Publication: Policy brief

Greening Aid for Trade: Pathways for a Just and Fair Transition to Sustainable Trade


By Carolyn Deere Birkbeck

Addressing the urgent planetary crises of biodiversity loss, climate change, and pollution will require strong and durable efforts to harness trade and trade policy for sustainable development across its social, environmental, and economic dimensions. Aid for trade should be viewed as a vital part of the policy toolkit for trade and trade policies that advance sustainable development and respond to urgent environmental crises.

Greening aid for trade requires a nuanced approach that pursues simultaneous action through six complementary pathways underpinned by the sustainable development priorities of developing and least developed countries: mainstreaming environmental goals into aid for trade, securing new resources for environment-related aid for trade support, fostering coherence between aid for trade and broader global policy agendas, ensuring aid for trade monitoring captures the environmental purpose and impact of aid for trade projects, integrating trade considerations into climate and environment funding, and strengthening South-South cooperation. Investing in national processes in both developed and developing countries will be essential for integrated decision-making and stakeholder consultation on the role of trade and trade policies in sustainable development—and the environment-related and aid for trade priorities that flow from these.

This policy brief is co-published with the International Institute for Sustainable Development.


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