WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Image Credit: Twitter

Sharm Al Sheikh: Climate change adaptation requires significant infrastructure investment to increase resilience and reduce vulnerabilities, and the transition to a low-carbon global economy will generate enormous investment, employment, and growth opportunities, said WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala at a high-level forum held on the sidelines of the COP27 in Sharm Al Sheikh, Egypt.

Okonjo-Iweala highlighted the need to develop climate-smart policies to promote international trade and investment in mitigation and adaptation projects.

She added that fostering cooperation to develop common approaches to carbon pricing was critical to driving new transformations.

"We need to build a coherent framework of trade and investment policies supported by roadmaps that can accelerate the energy transition and boost re-investments," the Director-General said.

The Global Investment and Trade for Climate Transformation forum, convened by the WTO and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), addressed what the international trade and investment communities could do to advance the Paris Climate Agreement.

UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebecca Grynspan told the forum that recent research showed the number of new climate change investment projects announced in the last two quarters had decreased, indicating the need for climate funding, particularly in developing countries.

"We must ensure that trade and investment policies are an integral part of nationally determined contributions," she said.  "That is not always the case, and we need to change that."

Grynspan also discussed the role that trade can play in climate adaptation, highlighting the need to maintain a policy environment conducive to the cross-border flow of climate financing in order to promote international investment in mitigation and especially adaptation.