International trade is a key driver of economic growth and can have important implications for the green transition. It plays a prominent role in the discussions at 3GF and a huge potential for green growth lies hidden in green trade liberalisation.
International trade and the green transition
The impact of international trade on a green transition is manifold. Trade drives economic growth - a key element of green growth and sustainable development. Trade liberalisation can help improve environmental health by expanding access to environmental goods and services, lowering prices by increased competition, ensuring a more efficient use of resources and supporting transitions towards cleaner and more services orientated economies.
Trade in low-carbon and energy-efficient technology can help combat climate change by creating international markets for green technologies. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), 2011 saw a record $211 billion of global investment in renewables: a third more than in 2009 and a 540% rise since 2004. The German Institute for Economic Research, DIW (2009) estimates that the global market will grow from $1.2 to $1.9 trillion by 2020.