Climate Change and Trade: The Challenges for Southern Africa

The long-awaited Copenhagen summit on climate change gave to the world a broad political agreement, but without any teeth. Meanwhile concerns over the climate change agenda finding its way into the multilateral trading system are growing, at a time when the trading system is struggling to find its own feet.

South Africa’s economy, and by extension Southern Africa’s economy, is based on resource production and to some extent beneficiation, in turn dependent on cheap energy. Its international visibility – not least in climate change negotiations – means that it may be in line for imposition of trade policy measures on its carbon-intensive exports.

Climate Change and Trade straddles several distinctive bodies of knowledge, notably trade policy and diplomacy, and environment policy and diplomacy, in order to shed light on these challenges from a Southern African perspective. As such it represents the first major attempt to synthesise these ‘sealed’ policy challenges and sketch policy implications for the region.

The book is divided into two sections. The first addresses the global and multilateral dynamics in climate change negotiations, and their relationship to the trading system, notably the World Trade Organization. The second focuses on Southern Africa, revealing the state of knowledge with respect to projected climate warming impacts on the region, and a series of case studies that detail country-specific climate and trade issues in Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique and Zambia.

About the editors

Peter Draper joined SAIIA as Trade Research Fellow and Project Head of the Development through Trade Programme in 2003. He previously headed the Department of Economics and Economic History at the University of Durban-Westville; the Asia and Mercosur desks at the Department of Trade and Industry; and Economic Analysis and Research in the DTI’s International Trade and Economic Development Division. He is a member of Business Unity South Africa’s trade committee and lectures International Business at Wits Business School.  He is a board member and non-resident senior fellow of the Brussels-based European Centre for International Political Economy; a member of the IMD-Lausanne’s Evian group including its “Brains trust”; and a board member of the Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis. He holds an M.Com (Economic History) from the University of Kwazulu-Natal.

Ivan Mbirimi is a Research Associate at SAIIA, and an economist with nearly 30 years of professional experience specialising in trade policy analysis, research, capacity building, international trade negotiations, climate change and environment, with a particular focus on the concerns of developing countries. His expertise covers the following areas: trade policy analysis, particularly the promotion of policy coherence within trade and between trade and other economic policies; WTO issues, especially enhancing the participation of developing countries in multilateral trade negotiations; trade in services, standards in international trade; aid for trade; economics of climate change, in particular issues concerning adaptation and links with development policy; and regional integration issues, including trade preferences. His main geographical focus is Southern and Eastern Africa.

Contents include:

Peter Draper


Overview of the global shift towards a low-carbon economy: Opportunities and challenges
Bernice Lee, Felix Preston and Antony Froggatt

Technology transfer and intellectual property rights in a post-Kyoto regime
Samantha Gregory

Financing solutions to climate change in sub-Saharan Africa: Towards an assessment of institutional and market challenges
Sheila Kiratu and Suryapratim Roy

Multilateral trade policies and measure in post-Kyoto structures
Loretta Feris


The scientific basis for climate change over Southern Africa
Francois A Engelbrecht

South Africa’s dilemma: Reconciling energy-climate challenges with global climate responsibilities
Romy Chevallier

Mozambique and climate change
Gilberto Biacuana

Trade and climate change in Zambia
Humphrey Mulemba

The economic and social impacts of climate change: The case of Botswana
Victoria Ndzinge-Anderson

How might Southern Africa begin to respond to climate change? A Synthesis of Key Findings
Ivan Mbirimi