Eliminating tariffs on environmental goods through a binding agreement in the WTO would not only improve market access and therefore lower the costs of environmental goods, but it would also contribute to the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
In 2014, a number of WTO members launched negotiations of an Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA). The agreement is intended to eliminate tariffs on a list of environmental goods by the signatories, after which the tariff concessions would be extended to all WTO members based on the most-favoured-nation principle. A successful conclusion of the EGA negotiations would be a first step towards binding tariff concessions at the international level, complementing efforts like those by the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies, which are non-binding, or regional and bilateral efforts in preferential trade agreements.
In light of this, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, with support of ICTSD, held an Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) symposium in Beijing on August 29, 2017. The symposium informed industries and policy makers on the state of play in the EGA negotiations and how the EGA would establish a win-win relationship for the environment and business.
The keynote speech was given by Prof. Tu, one of the leading experts in the area of trade and environment in China, followed by 2 panel discussions, with speakers from Chinese, European, Japanese and US industries, and academic and government agencies.