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Multilateral negotiations at the intersection of trade and climate change: an overview of developing countries’ priorities in UNCSD, UNFCCC and WTO processes

This report examines the priorities and positions of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the relevant developing country member concerns that have informed the responses of these organisations. The article identifies four main categories of linkages between trade and climate change: climate change physically affects trade in terms of patterns and volume; trade has direct and indirect effects on climate change; climate change policies can affect trade; trade policies can be used for addressing climate change. The identified intersections suggest that policies addressing these areas can be mutually supportive. Yet, given the complex character of the linkages and the different institutional settings in which these issues are discussed, there is potential for conflict between the two.