September 20, 2022

The world is experiencing a dangerous change in the climate. According to the latest report from IPCC2, in the last four decades, each decade has been successively warmer than preceding decades since 1850. This global heating is reducing the snow cover and sea ice in some regions and intensifying heavy rains and forest fires in others, leading to drastic changes in the existing habitat.

This paper by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) examines the impact of climate change on the global South, and provides the ways in which South-South cooperation can help developing countries in building climate resilience and meeting the climate adaptation goals set in their NDCs.

The paper proposes building capacity of developing and least developed countries by sharing experiences on green industrial policies and proposes a positive trade and environment agenda at the WTO to secure an enabling multilateral environment for developing countries to adapt to climate changes while pursuing their sustainable development goals.

The paper shares selected successful examples of cooperation for climate mitigation and adaptation amongst the developed countries which can provide valuable lessons for the South. Based on these insights, the paper proposes four mutually reinforcing core principles for a South-South Cooperation framework for climate adaptation and presents a complementary south-south cooperation agenda for climate action.

It also underscores the importance of comprehensive and coordinated regional climate adaptation strategies and emphasises the need to set up an inter-regional Secretariat within the UN system with the mandate of boosting South-South cooperation on climate adaptation and sustainable development.