A UNEP report looked at trade opportunities in six sectors, ranging from tourism to agriculture, and said developing countries could capitalize on growing trends for a low-carbon economy.
"Transitioning to a green economy can facilitate new trade opportunities, which in turn will help to make global trade more sustainable," UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said.
In absolute terms, UNEP said environmental goods and services trade is on the rise despite the small percentage of global trade for the sector. UNEP said the global market for energy efficient technologies is expected to nearly triple to $2.2 trillion by the end of the decade.
"With the right policies and price regimes in place, developing countries are well-positioned to help drive the global transition to a more sustainable economy," Steiner said.
In terms of the environmental effects, the International Energy Agency said the continued use of coal meant the energy sector hadn't improved much since the 1990s.
The World Meteorological Organization said 2012 was the 27th consecutive year that global temperatures were higher than the 1961-90 average.