This event will introduce the recent WTO dispute settlement panel report in Canada – Renewable Energies (DS412, DS426). In addressing the feed-in tariff scheme of the Canadian province of Ontario, the case assessed the extent to which government authorities can favor domestic producers and suppliers in promoting renewable energy generation. The panel found that the programme in question, while violating GATT and TRIMS rules due to a local content requirement, may not be characterized as a subsidy as no appropriate benchmark for the benefit assessment was provided. In its assessment the panel discussed characteristics of energy markets, concluding that government intervention may be needed to ensure renewable energy supply. Discussions will focus at the larger policy implications of these findings.
For more detailed information, see ICTSD's report here.
'Talking Disputes' is designed to allow for the discussion of WTO DS cases, one at a time, in a round of interested experts, delegates, and others in Geneva. One or two experts will present key aspects of the case, setting the stage for a targeted discussion, usually with a designated commentator breaking the ice.