Trade, Climate Change and Sustainable Development

Key Issues for Small States, Least Developed Countries and Vulnerable Economies

image of Trade, Climate Change and Sustainable Development
Responding to climate change is a global challenge with significant implications for small developing countries. Debate on how trade policy can mitigate the effects of climate change has so far centred on developed countries and the large emerging economies, especially China, Brazil and India, but what are the implications for small and vulnerable economies (SVEs), least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS)?

These countries are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change but they are least equipped to deal with changes in trade policy. Trade, Climate Change and Sustainable Development examines the opportunities and multiple large-scale challenges they face in adapting key trade sectors to the impact of climate change, addressing climate change measures, and furthering their own trade capacity and competitiveness in the global market.

This book is the result of a joint project between the Commonwealth Secretariat and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, Geneva. It will be of interest to policy-makers and anyone who wants to gain a clear understanding of the implications of climate change on the economies of smaller developing states.




Least developed countries, small vulnerable economies and small island developing states already face the development challenge in its full complexity. Many are struggling to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, particularly since they are poor and lack the necessary financial and technical resources to achieve their goals. The development conditions and economic resource constraints of smaller developing countries often exacerbate their economic and climate change vulnerabilities and inhibit their ability to adapt to climate change in social, technological and financial terms. Already, many are being left behind in terms of trade growth and competitiveness, and the development and maintenance of trade-related infrastructure might also become more difficult as countries struggle to cope with climate impacts and adaptation demands.


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