Trade and Climate Change: Exploring the Impact on South African Business

  • Date: Wednesday, 23 October 2013
  • Venue: IDC Auditorium - Training Room 3 & 4, 19 Fredman Drive, Sandton, Johannesburg
  • Main Speakers: Brendan Vickers, Chief Director: Research and Policy, the dti Gaylor Montmasson-Clair, Assistant Programme Manager: Sustainable Growth, TIPS Jorge Maia, Head of Research and Information, IDC
  • Organisation: TIPS, the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC)

There is growing concern that measures already in place or potentially adopted by developed countries to combat climate change could be trade distortionary, introduce new forms of 'green protectionism' and/or be discriminatory. Such policy and regulatory measures may range from emissions trading schemes (e.g. the EU's deferred airlines tax) to border tax adjustments that price carbon, subsidies, new public and/or private standards (including carbon labelling schemes), taxes on maritime transportation and, among other non-tariff barriers to trade, could entail the introduction of specific legislation.

Discussion bocussed on the following three questions from an industry/sector perspective:

• Using specific examples, is your industry/sector vulnerable to existing/new climate- or environment-related regulations/measures in international markets?
• Are any existing regulations/measures already impacting on your competitiveness, or would the latter be affected if these were to be introduced – and if so, how?
• What measures could your industry or sector take to reduce its carbon footprint?

For a summary of the roundtable discussion, see attachment below.