International Trade to feature at COP28 on December 4 at Expo City Dubai
International trade is to be featured at the United Nations Climate Conference (COP28) for the first time when it convenes in the UAE in November and December. The UAE mission to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) made the announcement at the Committee on Trade and Environment, stating that trade will be subject to a dedicated day under the UAE’s COP28 Presidency Thematic Program – in particular its role as an enabler of climate-smart growth, including supply-chain resilience. The COP28 Trade Day will take place on December 4 at Expo City Dubai.
The UAE Ministry of the Economy, His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, the Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and the COP28 Presidency will co-lead the committee on trade for COP28 alongside the WTO Secretariat. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the World Economic Forum (the Forum) and the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) have also all been invited to help shape discussions on trade during the COP28 Presidency Program.
This alliance, a first in the context of a United Nations Climate Conference, was created to promote the use of trade and investment instruments to deliver climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions. It also seeks to ensure open, equitable access to global supply chains, which will support small- and micro-enterprise growth around the world, especially in the global south.
HE Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi said the inclusion of trade at COP28 demonstrates the UAE’s commitment to delivering actionable, real-world solutions. “As a global supply chain hub, the UAE understands how significant a role the international trading community can play in championing energy transition and delivering sustainable growth across the world. We are excited that COP28 will showcase the opportunities in the sector for future-focused thinking that can deliver a trading system that is smarter, faster and more inclusive – especially for SMEs and MSMEs across the developing world. From the development and deployment of new technology to building consensus for integration into global supply chains, the UAE welcomes the chance to lead this essential transformation of trade.”
HE Dr Sultan Al Jaber, COP28 President Designate, further elaborated on the importance of this initiative, saying: “From the outset we have been clear that COP28 is focused on transformational change that cuts across sectors and societies. International trade, as a cornerstone of economic growth, jobs, and livelihoods, is an essential tool in accelerating climate action. It has the potential to unlock investments in emerging economies, to boost uptake of clean energy technologies, and to support green jobs and innovation. The inclusion of trade in the COP28 thematic programme is a deliberate and targeted effort to bring more stakeholders on board in our effort to fast-track climate action.”
International trade, as a cornerstone of economic growth, jobs, and livelihoods, is an essential tool in accelerating climate action. It has the potential to unlock investments in emerging economies, to boost uptake of clean energy technologies, and to support green jobs and innovation.HE Dr Sultan Al Jaber, COP28 President Designate
HE Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), believes the inclusion of trade at COP28 reaffirms the UAE’s unwavering commitment in shaping the future of global trade to achieve the sustainable development goals. According to Al Zaabi, the UAE sees climate-change mitigation as a major catalyst for the sustainable socio-economic development, underpinned by a smart and circular economic strategy that encourages inclusive flow of trade, supply-chain efficiency, and trade tech, creating new opportunities for exporters, manufacturers and investors between all four nexuses of the world.
The UAE leadership has confirmed that COP28 will provide a critical opportunity to place the multilateral trading system at the heart of conversations about sustainable development and equitable, inclusive growth. As one of the world’s leading trade hubs, the UAE is keen to lead the conversations on introducing greater efficiencies, modern technologies and low-carbon solutions into global supply chains. The country will also host UNCTAD’s 8th World Investment Forum in October, which will be followed by WTO's 13th Ministerial Conference in February 2024.