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Alan Bollard: Far from being a threat to the planet, trade can benefit it

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Leaders of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum pose for a photo at a summit in Manila on Nov. 19.   © Reuters

Concerns about the impact of global trade and growth on environmental protection and sustainability and vice versa are longstanding and not without cause. Yet the advancement of these 21st-century development priorities is not an either/or proposition. On the contrary, they can and must go hand in hand.

     The fight against climate change exemplifies the significant role that trade and greater interconnectivity of people and markets can play in fostering a more prosperous, secure and sustainable world economy that works for all. Fully harnessing these forces is critical as focus shifts from the negotiating table in Paris -- where the 21st Conference of the Parties, or COP21, climate negotiations ended in December -- to the complex implementation work needed to curb global warming.

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