The Paris Agreement’s goal to limit global warming to well below 2 ̊C compared to pre-industrial levels will require a massive scale-up of clean energy supply and a more efficient use of energy.

Streamlined and well-functioning global value chains will be key to unleash the trillions of dollars of investment needed to this end, while also allowing countries to contribute according to their comparative advantages. This will enable a more efficient production and provision of equipment, services and technologies, lowering their costs and ultimately reducing clean energy prices.

While trade policy can play a key role in this regard, a wide range of obstacles stand in the way of value chain optimisation. These include border measures such as import duties, as well as a range of behind the border measures like standards, conformity assessment procedures, local content requirements, procurement practices, and restrictions on trade in services.

The Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) being negotiated by a group of WTO members seeks to eliminate tariffs on a broad range of environmental goods, including in the area of clean energy and energy efficiency. At the last G7 summit, the group called for an “ambitious” and “future-oriented” EGA, which could provide room for addressing services and non-tariff measures in a second phase. While negotiations are on hold for the moment, there is nevertheless scope to discuss and strengthen the clean energy-component of the agreement. Regional and bilateral trade agreements could also play an important role in driving the diffusion and deployment of clean energy.

This dialogue, co-organised by ICTSD and the World Eneregy Council, will showcase findings from recent research on global value chains and non-tariff measures, and discuss options for trade policy to help scale up clean energy supply. It is intended to create a better understanding of how market access and domestic supply capacity interact with trade policy in order to inform future trade policy making that is conducive to a clean energy scale-up. 

For security reasons, registration is mandatory. Registration will close on Thursday, 2 February at 17:00.

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Geneva, Switzerland
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Date: 9 February 2017

Time: 11:00-18:00

For security reasons, registration is mandatory. Registration will close on Thursday, 2 February at 17:00.

Date period: 
Thursday, 9 February 2017 - 11:06am

COP 22 had the potential to significantly push the processes surrounding the Paris Agreement to a higher gear and create more clarity on what can be expected on the international level in the coming years.

During this session, participants will review the main outcomes of the Marrakech COP, and especially how they relate to ongoing EU policy processes and the impact of the US election on international cooperation.

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Brussels, Belgium
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Carbon Market Clubs under the Paris Climate Regime: Climate and Trade Policy ConsiderationsInternational Cooperation Under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement: Reflections Before SB 44
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Date: 24 November 2016

Time: 16:00-18:00

Date period: 
Thursday, 24 November 2016 - 9:21am

Climate change poses tremendous risks for growth and development and therefore requires ambitious and immediate action. 

The Paris Agreement represents an unprecedented commitment to tackle the climate challenge: Its signatories aim to peak emissions as soon as possible and to decarbonise the global economy in the second half of the century.

However, its success will require supportive policies across many areas. Trade frameworks that support the transition to a low-carbon economy will be key. Policies to achieve this range from trade liberalisation for climate-friendly goods and services to phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies or providing space for climate-friendly subsidies.

At the same time, the decentralised nature of the new climate agreement built on NDCs will likely generate increasing spillover effects on trade and in some cases test the limits of trade rules, which in turn may undermine climate goals. Recent political developments further add uncertainty about the levels of mitigation action that can be expected.

This dialogue will explore key interactions between trade and the implementation of the Paris Agreement in the post-Marrakesh context to drive more coherent policy-making where the potential for trade to positively contribute to the climate action effort is realised, while ensuring that climate measures do not unnecessarily distort trade but rather promote an open economic system that contributes to sustainable, equitable and inclusive development.

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Brussels, Belgium
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Global Rules for Mutually Supportive and Reinforcing Trade and Climate RegimesCarbon Market Clubs under the Paris Climate Regime: Climate and Trade Policy Considerations
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Date: 6 December 2016

Time: 14:00-16:00

Date period: 
Tuesday, 6 December 2016 - 11:45am

Fossil fuel subsidies encourage wasteful consumption aggravate local pollution, disadvantage clean energy technologies, and drain scarce public resources that could be better directed to other sustainable development goals. At over USD 500 billion annually, fossil fuel subsidies are globally significant.

Fossil fuel subsidies are a poor social welfare policy. They are regressive, costly and inefficient for reducing poverty.

In addition to the detrimental impact on climate change and the economy, they have a negative impact on international trade and can distort international trade flows.

Removing fossil fuel subsidies leads to emissions reductions and removes distortions which affect international trade. It also frees up resources to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The trade regime is uniquely placed to consider how to address fossil fuel subsidies. International trade law is the only forum in which global rules are already in place to effectively discipline subsidies. Given this and the implications of fossil fuel subsidies on international trade and investment flows, there is a case for the WTO to more closely examine these harmful measures.

Panellists:

-Arancha González, ITC

-Mark Halle, IISD

-Ingrid Jegou, ICTSD

-Ronald Steenblik, OECD

-David Shark, WTO

-Guillermo Valles, UNCTAD

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Geneva, Switzerland
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Monday, 21 November 2016 - 4:03pm