Climate change mitigation offers growth chances: UN report

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Climate change mitigation does not contradict development goals but will offer enormous opportunities for growth, says a UN report released here Tuesday, weeks ahead of a UN climate change talks to be held in BANGKOK.

"There is considerable scope for developing economies in the years and decades ahead to gain from the opportunities that will emerge from structural change towards renewable sources of energy, climate-friendly technologies, low-carbon equipment and appliances, and more sustainable modes of consumption," says the "Trade and Development Report 2009," subtitled "Responding to the global crisis" and "Climate change mitigation and development."

The report, launched by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), followed the release of another UN report a week ago -- "Promoting Development, Saving the Planet," which exclusively addresses the climate change issue.

The report insists that for developing countries and transition economies to benefit from these opportunities, necessary structural changes cannot be left to market force alone; pro- active industrial policies must be undertaken to link into the fast growing market for "green technology" and "environmental goods."

The report also calls on flexible and appropriate international measures in efforts to combat global warming.

In light of the public good achieved in reducing climate change, it suggests, the flexibilities of the WTO's Agreement on Trade- Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) could be interpreted in a way that would ease patent protection, as by allowing compulsory licensing of patents for the production of climate-friendly equipment and goods.

The UNCTAD report also addresses other issues on development, such as the new approach to multilateral exchange-rate management and the probable failure in meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

The report, along with another one titled "Promoting Development, Saving the Planet," came weeks before a new round of the United Nations Climate Change Talks, scheduled for Sept. 28 to Oct. 9 in Bangkok.

The talks are a part of a series of negotiations that are expected to culminate in December this year in Copenhagen with a new pact on slashing greenhouse gas emissions.

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