Import Ref: 
47
Import Imported: 
1

Pursuing a shift towards clean energy is crucial in order to fulfil multiple sustainable development objectives, including scaling up energy access, enhancing energy security, generating green jobs, and responding to climate change. Shifting to clean energy is a win-win that we cannot afford to miss, especially in light of growing energy demand.

While the technical solutions exist and a range of policies have lowered costs for clean energy technologies, making them increasingly accessible, obstacles remain with regard to innovation, production, scale-up and deployment. High tariffs, especially in developing countries, or even the cumulative effect of low tariffs restrict the free flow of clean energy technologies. In addition, policies such as standards, subsidies, local content requirements (LCRs), government procurement or investment rules can create barriers to trade. Services necessary to deliver clean energy goods also face significant barriers.

As a result, there is a strong case for trade reform in this area in order to strengthen clean energy markets. Through gains from trade, including economies of scale and specialization, costs would be reduced and the technologies - and sustainable development benefits - would be extended and enhanced.

Trade reform can be undertaken in many ways - multilaterally, plurilaterally, regionally or unilaterally. While the WTO is facing difficulties in making progress since the launch of the Doha round negotiations, promising plurilateral and regional options are emerging.

For example, a negotiation for an Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) aimed at liberalising trade in environmental goods, including clean energy goods, is currently underway by a group of 17 WTO members. The EGA holds significant potential to address climate change, energy access, energy security and green growth. To foster and further build upon this potential, it would be desirable that the EGA covers relevant clean energy technologies, more countries join the initiative, services for the supply of clean energy goods are covered by trade reform, and non-tariff barriers are addressed.

In addition, regional trade agreements increasingly address clean energy and climate change, for example through provisions prohibiting LCRs or trade remedies. This represents an interesting opportunity for the LAC region where several regional trade agreements exist or are being negotiated.

Against this background, ICTSD, the Chilean Ministry of Energy and ECLAC hosted a dialogue with government representatives from the LAC region as well as stakeholders from industry, think tanks and academia. The event explored the potential benefits for the LAC region from joining the EGA as well as from other options, such as addressing clean energy in regional trade agreements. 

 

 

 

Undefined
Place: 
Santiago, Chile
Event type: 
Our events
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Updates: 
Addressing Energy Efficiency Products in the Environmental Goods Agreement: Issues, Challenges and the Way ForwardIdentifying Products with Climate and Development Benefits for an Environmental Goods AgreementInternational Trade and Access to Sustainable Energy: Issues and Lessons from Country ExperiencesClimate Change and Sustainable Energy Measures in Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs): An OverviewHonduras busca convertirse en líder en energía solar en la región Uruguay continúa apuesta por revolución energética El Acuerdo sobre Bienes Ambientales y sus beneficios climáticosNegociadores del Acuerdo sobre Bienes Ambientales revisan lista de productosEnvironmental Goods Agreement talks review product list
Region: 
Americas
Main Tag: 
Event
Language: 
English
Practical info: 

Date: 17 June 2015

Time: 8:30 - 17:30. 

The event will be followed by a cocktail reception from 17:30 to 19:00....

Date period: 
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 - 8:52pm

Eliminating tariffs on environmental goods - currently the main mandate of the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) negotiations - would lead to considerable gains. Not only would it allow firms to optimise their supply chains, resulting in economies of scale and more competitive and affordable environmental technologies, it would also offer a much-needed impetus to the global trade system, capable of generating momentum for further, necessary trade reform. 

It is therefore essential, in a first step, to successfully bring the EGA tariff negotiations to a timely conclusion. In doing so, it is important to consider the role of developing countries in global supply chains of environmental, and in particular clean energy products. While developing countries are currently largely outside the EGA, they have much to gain from a strengthened world market in these technologies.

It is also desirable to reflect upon how to ensure that the EGA becomes as relevant and effective as possible, even after a first delivery. The EGA has been set out as a “living agreement” which would evolve over time as new challenges arise, the market develops and political progress is within reach. One important step for such a living agreement would be to eventually widen the scope of the EGA beyond tariff elimination. Indeed, the more tangible barriers to trade in environmental technologies mostly relate to non-tariff-barriers (NTBs), for example standards and the proliferation of local content requirements.

Against this background, the SETI Alliance and ICTSD hosted this dialogue during the EGA negotiating session. The event included presentations from business representatives about projects in developing countries, exploring how tariffs and NTBs affect the optimisation of supply chains and the integration of developing countries in the world market. In addition, the session featured expert presentations from ICTSD on options for mutual recognition of standards for clean energy technologies, and the OECD on their research on achieving a level playing field for international investment in solar and wind energy.  

Undefined
Place: 
Geneva, Switzerland
Event type: 
Our events
Image: 
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Updates: 
Addressing Energy Efficiency Products in the Environmental Goods Agreement: Issues, Challenges and the Way ForwardIdentifying Products with Climate and Development Benefits for an Environmental Goods AgreementOptions for defining products covered by the Environmental Goods Agreement Environmental Goods Agreement talks review product list
Main Tag: 
Event
Language: 
English
Partners: 

SETI Alliance

Practical info: 

Date: 16 June 2015

Time: 13:15-15:00

Catering: A light lunch will be served outisde the meeting room from 12:30-13:15.

Date period: 
Tuesday, 16 June 2015 - 4:08pm