While globalization has lifted billions of people out of poverty in the Asia-Pacific region alone, the economic growth supported by existing trade and investment policies has come at a steep environmental cost. The latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change unequivocally concludes that a human-made climate crisis is unfolding and that we are on the verge of a tipping point. All possible avenues need to be considered in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including in the policies governing trade and investment. The links between trade, investment and climate change are complex. The key is to ensure that the positive effects of trade and investment are maximized, such as by promoting trade and investment in renewable energy and low-carbon technologies, while minimizing the adverse effects, such as by digitalizing trade and transport systems. As such, this course seeks to explain the relationship between climate-change and trade and investment, and provide recommendations on how trade and investment policies can be more “climate-smart”.
The course is jointly developed by ESCAP, UNEP & UNCTAD and conducted as a facilitated online e-learning course. It consists of 7 pre-recorded modules (approximately 15 min each) and two interactive sessions. For each module, the participants are expected to complete the readings first, then watch the recorded video presentations (see Annex). The participants are then expected to take online quizzes associated with the course material and attend the two live sessions. Note that this course is offered for the first time on a pilot basis and participants are requested to kindly note down any feedback to the content of the course and quizzes for improvement. Two live sessions to discuss the content and ask any clarification questions are offered to participants who will have gone through the pre-recorded sessions and attempted all quizzes. Upon attending the live sessions, providing feedback and passing the quizzes, participants will get a certificate of completion for the course.
About the course facilitator
Professor Mao Xianqiang is a professor at the School of Environment, Beijing Normal University. He has been working on trade, investment and environment for over 15 years. Prof Mao has led many research projects regarding, e.g., the environmental impact assessment of trade policies, accounting embodied carbon in trade flows, providing environment friendly trade policy suggestions to MEP, supporting APEC environmental goods list making, among others. He led case studies to the Best Practice of Sustainable Investment in the APEC Region, and hosted an APEC regional Workshop on the Best Practice of Sustainable Investment, as part of the 2014 APEC Beijing Summit activities, supported by the APEC secretary and Chinese Ministry of Commerce.
The course is based on joint publication by ESCAP, UNEP and UNCTAD "Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2021: Accelerating Climate-smart Trade and Investment for Sustainable Development" More information, please visit https://www.unescap.org/kp/APTIR2021