Friday, September 11, 2009

Trade and Development Report on Africa and Environment

The UN Trade and Development Report 2009 was released. A few snippets highlights the worsening state of Africa and possible growth and development opportunities in addressing environmental concerns:

On Africa:

Falling GDP...

In Africa output growth is expected to slow down sharply in 2009, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where per capita GDP will actually fall.

Increasing food insecurity...

In 2009, food emergencies persist in 31 countries, and it is estimated that between 109 million and 126 million people, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, may have fallen below the poverty line since 2006 due to higher food prices

On the natural environment:

Climate change and development...

Increased efforts aimed at climate change mitigation can be combined with forward-looking development strategies and rapid growth in developing countries.

Market for ’environmental goods’...

At present, the global market for what is sometimes called “environmental goods” is clearly dominated by developed countries, but several developing economies already account for an increasing share of this market. For some countries, climate change mitigation offers new possibilities to exploit natural comparative advantages, particularly in the production of low-carbon energy, which so far have been of minor economic importance; for others it may offer opportunities to build new dynamic comparative advantages.

A proactive industrial policy with a special focus on using existing comparative advantages and creating new ones in the production of environmental goods is of particular relevance in the context of forward-looking development strategies, because the policy space for support measures in this area is less narrowly circumscribed by multilateral agreements than in other areas.

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