To tackle climate change, engage small business

14 December 2022
ITC News

The International Trade Centre looks back at COP27

At COP27 in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt, the International Trade Centre (ITC) highlighted the important role of small businesses in curbing global temperature rise, in support of the Paris Agreement.

Small businesses make up 90% of all companies worldwide, and the bulk of emissions along the supply chains of big corporations that produce everyday goods, including food, electronics and apparel. Small firms are aware of – and willing to make – the low-carbon transition. But they often lack the finance, skills or technology to make the transition.  

To draw attention to their successes and challenges in taking climate action, ITC brought small businesses and youth-led business support organizations of various sectors to the two-week long event, including textiles, agri-business and natural products, from regions such as Bhutan, Egypt, Ghana and Jamaica.

Moreover, ITC engaged in two high-level roundtables, six side events, and ten activities at the ITC Pavilion in the Blue Zone.

Here are the highlights of ITC at COP27:

  • Showing small business climate actions at the ITC pavilion by giving them a voice; and sharing the perspectives of global leaders Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Patricia Scotland, Commonwealth Secretary-General who discussed matters at hand live with ITC Executive Director Pamela Coke-Hamilton.
  • Calling on world leaders to put trade at the heart of the climate agenda by raising the missing voices of small businesses, women, young people and vulnerable communities, at a high-level side event that ITC organized with the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS), UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and World Trade Organization (WTO).
  • The ITC Executive Director engaging in two high-level roundtables with heads of states to discuss issues related to just transition, climate change and the sustainability of vulnerable communities. These roundtables were part of the COP27 World Leaders Summit on 7 and 8 November.
  • Signing an agreement with the US Department of State Office of Global Partnerships to support entrepreneurs in developing countries to create climate-smart solutions, including through the Climate Smart Network, an online tool that connects global companies with green suppliers.
  • Launching the publication Small business in value chains: from climate risk to resilience. This report outlines a 10-step guide for development cooperation agencies, business support organizations, policymakers, large corporations, financial institutions and technical suppliers on how to work with small businesses to manage risk and boost their resilience.
  • Amplifying messages of small businesses through a social media campaign before, during and after COP27.

Watch all recordings of ITC’s events and conversations at COP27 here.