Trade is on the agenda at COP27, as an avenue for small businesses of developing countries to make – and benefit from – the low-carbon transition.
Small businesses make up 90% of businesses and half of jobs worldwide. Of the big corporations that produce most of the goods commonly used every day – including food, electronics and apparel – more than 80% of their emissions come from their supply chains, and the biggest bulk of that comes from small businesses.
That’s the theme of a side event to be hosted by the International Trade Centre (joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations) and other international organizations, including the United Nations agencies on least developed countries, environment and intellectual property.
The countries that are most vulnerable to climate change – including least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing states – are among those that contributed the least to the current situation. They will need access to finance, technology and skills to make the low-carbon transition.
High-level representatives – as well as an entrepreneur and a youth voice – will share how sustainable and inclusive trade can support small businesses to build climate resilience, reduce carbon emissions and gain a competitive advantage in global markets, through internationally aligned standards and transparency mechanisms, investment in green technologies, establishment of low-carbon value chains and creation of an ecosystem conducive to innovation. With the right incentives, including intellectual property rights, small businesses can play a key role in lowering emissions, thus raising nationally determined contribution (NDC) ambitions.
This in turn helps bolster food security and improve livelihoods, and ultimately governments’ priorities for economic and social development.