Green Goods Initiative: A stepping stone towards effective climate change action

8 July 2014
Geneva, Switzerland

In January of this year, a group of14 countries made an announcement in Davos of their intention to negotiate a trade agreement on “green goods”. The mandate is about eliminating bound import tariffs on environmental goods, building on a list of 54 environmental goods agreed upon by APEC a few years ago. The agreement will grant a “most-favoured nation-treatment”, meaning that the tariff concessions will be extended to all members of the WTO, irrespective of if they are part of the Green Goods Initiative.

In their statement, the countries refer to a “future oriented agreement able to address other issues in the sector and to respond to changes in technologies in the years to come”, which has been interpreted to constitute an opening towards eventually addressing other significant barriers such as restrictions to trade in services but also subsidies, standards or local content requirements.

Whereas the announcement refers to environmental goods, the emphasis on climate change clearly indicates the intention to address clean energy and other climate-friendly technologies.

In consultation with the 14 countries, ICTSD hosted a public event in Geneva on the Green Goods Initiative. The purpose of the ICTSD Dialogue was to raise awareness among the trade constituency in Geneva and beyond about the Green Goods Initiative and the potential it holds to effectively address climate change by prioritizing clean energy technologies and other climate-friendly goods. The event involved voices from business, academia and government, and strived to stimulate an open and constructive conversation, in support of the upcoming trade negotiation. 

Sessions I & II

Session III

Opening remarks

Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz




Key Note: The climate change imperative and the Green Goods Initiative - Clean energy markets and prospects

Michael Liebreich (by video)

Founder and Chairman of the Advisory Board, Bloomberg New Energy Finance





Tariffs in the Green Goods Initiative - Ensuring an effective outcome

Mahesh Sugathan



Emerging barriers to clean energy technologies - An assessment and possible ways forward

Amy Porges

Law Offices of Amelia Porges


Trade in clean energy-related services - Opportunities for new initiatives

Johannes Bernabe


12:30 - 13:15
WTO Geneva Headquarters, Centre William Rappard: Room W
13:15 - 14:00
Sandwich Lunch
WTO Geneva Headquarters, Centre William Rappard: Room W

H.E. Ronald Saborio

Ambassador of Costa Rica to the WTO


LI Yihong

Deputy Director-General, Department of WTO Affairs, China Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) 


Monica Hencsey

Head of Unit

DG TRADE, EU Commission


Jennifer Prescott

Assistant U.S. Trade Representative

Office of the U.S. Trade Representative


Sourabh Sen


Astonfield Renewables


Peter Brun

Managing Director

SETI Alliance


Jake Colvin

Vice President, Global Trade Issues
National Foreign Trade Council


Pierre Tardieu

Senior Political Affairs Advisor 

European Wind Energy Association


This session will be moderated by Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz and Ingrid Jegou, ICTSD


15:15 - 15:30
WTO Geneva Headquarters, Centre William Rappard: Room W
Closing Remarks
WTO Geneva Headquarters, Centre William Rappard: Room W

A cocktail in support of green trade and sustainable development, hosted by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), China Association of Machinery Industry for Environmental Protection, Japan Machinery Center for Trade and Investment, National Association of Manufacturers, National Foreign Trade Council, and U.S. Council for International Business.

Peter C. Brun holds a M.Sc. in Political Science from Copenhagen University and a degree in Business Administration from Copenhagen Business School.

Peter C. Brunhas worked with public and regulatory affairs his entire carrier. In his different professional positions and during postings abroad in the USA, Germany and Belgium he has since 1992 worked extensively with stakeholder relations both in the public and private sector and specifically with cases on regulatory matters in North America, the European Union, Japan and Australia.

For seven years he worked specifically as an international trade policy expert and as market access advisor for Danish companies. He was the deputy 133-Comittee representative in the Council of Ministers for Denmark in the EU during 2000-2004, and chaired the Committee during the Danish EU-Presidency in 2002. The Committee coordinates the mandate of the EU in international trade policy issues. During 2004-06 he headed the market access advisory function in the Danish Export Council as deputy head of the Trade Policy Department.

In August 2006 he joined Vestas Wind Systems Ltd where he headed Group Government Relations which was in charge of the company’s global dialogue with policy stakeholders and regulators. Peter C. Brun established and managed an international public affairs department and the integration of GR-units in all Vestas business units Worldwide – employing up to 44 international public affairs specialist. Between 2006 and 2012 he served as industry representative in the IEA, G.20/B.20, World Economic Forum, World Energy Council, UNFCCC, EU, Danish-China Business Forum, Danish-American Business Forum.

Peter C. Brun has also served as President for the Danish Wind Industry Association, Vice President of the Global Wind Energy Council, Vice President of the European Wind Energy Association, and board member of national industry federations and wind power associations around the World.

In March 2013 he joined the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development in Geneva with the specific task of managing the alliance of the Sustainable Energy Trade Initiatives (SETI Alliance). The alliance is driving a global campaign for securing open, free markets for green technologies in order to secure affordable sustainable energies for all.

Peter C. Brun has in 1998 been awarded the Imperial Order of the Sacred Treasury (Japan) and in 2006 the Knight of the Order of Dannebrog (Denmark).

Jake Colvin is Vice President for Global Trade Issues at the National Foreign Trade Council, where he leads the organization's engagement with the World Trade Organization, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, and its policy work on intellectual property rights, trade and environment issues, and the digital economy. He also serves as ExecutiveDirector of the Global Innovation Forum at NFTC, where he works with startup, business, education and nonprofit leaders to explore the opportunities and challenges associated with participating in the global marketplace.  Jake has written for Business Week, testified before Congress and provided analysis for outlets including NBC, CNN and Time Magazine. 

Monika Hencsey works at the European Commission in the Directorate General for TRADE where she heads the Unit in charge of "Trade and Sustainable Development, Generalized System of Preferences". The unit aims to ensure that EU trade policy contributes to the Treaty objective of sustainable development in its economic, social and environmental dimensions both in Europe and in our partner countries.

The team is also responsible for trade policy development towards developing countries, monitoring the implementation of the EU's Joint Aid for Trade strategy, as well as ensuring Policy Coherence for Development.

Before joining DG TRADE Monika Hencsey held positions in DG Competition and DG RELEX, including in the Delegations of the EU to Liberia and China, covering varied portfolios in the area of trade policy, political relations with third countries, and development assistance. Previous to her work in the European Union she also worked at the World Bank and in the private sector.

Ingrid SIDENVALL JEGOU is a Senior Adviser with 2050 Consulting. In that role, she focuses on advancing sustainability through enhanced business engagement. Prior to this, she held various positions in the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, ICTSD, including as Director for Climate, Energy and Natural Resources, and served in the senior management team of the organisation. Ms. Sidenvall Jegou has also held multiple positions in Swedish government agencies, including the Swedish National Board of Trade.

Ms Sidenvall Jegou holds a Masters of Economics and Politics from Lund University in Sweden and a Master of Global Arts in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Boston, MA.

Ingrid is and has been a member of various committees, including with the World Energy Council and the World Economic Forum. She was the ICTSD task leader in the EU research project “Carbon CAP”, and is a member of Climate Strategies. 

Ms. Sidenvall Jegou has authored and co-authored a number of papers on trade and climate change, particularly focusing on the G20, carbon pricing, emissions trading schemes, border measures and free allowances, as well as on trade and development more broadly and on trade in agriculture.


LI Yihong is the Deputy Director General in the Department of WTO Affairs, Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), China. Before, she worked in the Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs of MOFCOM, in the area of regional economic cooperation and FTA negotiations. From 2009-2011, when Yihong was the Director of Regional Economic Cooperation Division, she was deeply involved in the GMS, the Great Tumen Initiative and Central Asia economic cooperations. From 2005-2009, Yihong was the Director of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and FTA Division. She was the lead negotiator on the investment of China-New Zealand FTA and China-ASEAN FTA Investment Agreement, the lead negotiator on the services of China-Singapore FTA. She was also the assistant to the chief negotiator in the China-New Zealand and China-Singapore FTAs. She had worked on APEC for more than ten years and was China’s Representative to the APEC Trade and Investment Committee from 2005-2011. Yihong was one of the first to be posted in China’s Permanent Mission to the WTO in Geneva after China’s accession to the WTO. When she joined the Ministry in 1996, she started with the UN affairs. From 1990-1993, she was the assistant teacher in the School of Economics and Trade, Nanjing Agriculture University.

Yihong was the graduate of the UIBE (University of International Business and Economics) from 1993-1996 and got the Master Degree in Economics. She had her undergraduate education in the School of Economics, XiamenUniversity, majoring in international trade.   

MA, Cambridge; MBA, Harvard; Harkness Fellow; Baker Scholar. 1986-93, British Ski Team. 1990-95, McKinsey & Company. 1995-98, Deputy MD, Associated Press TV; Founding Director, Sports News TV. 1998-2004, venture capitalist, consultant, entrepreneur. Founder and Chairman of the Advisory Board, Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Member, UN High Level Group on Sustainable Energy for All. Visiting Professor, Imperial College. Member, Global Agenda Council on New Energy Architecture and selection panel, Technology Pioneers, World Economic Forum; Member, selection panel, Bloomberg New Energy Pioneers. Chairman, St Mark's Hospital Foundation for Colorectal Medicine.

Ricardo MELÉNDEZ-ORTIZ is founder and Chief Executive since 1996 of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Previously, he co-founded and was General Director of Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano (Quito). He has represented Colombia as a negotiator in several multilateral fora, including as permanent delegate of Colombia in Geneva and as a negotiator in GATT’s Uruguay Round, the Rio’92 UN Conference process, UNCTAD VIII, the Climate Change Convention, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Montreal Protocol. He acted as spokesperson for the G77 in several fora and served as chair of the UN Standing Committees on Commodities and on Trade Preferences. Earlier, he had served as Principal Adviser to the Colombian Minister of Economic Development and as Chief of Administration of the Office of the President of Colombia.

Since 1997, Mr. Meléndez-Ortiz has been the publisher of BRIDGES and its sister publications, and has edited, authored and published a wide range of books, articles and opinion pieces in English, French and Spanish on economic governance, trade, sustainable development and conflict management.

He has served or currently sits on advisory committees and the boards of a number of global policy initiatives, including as Board chairperson of the Meridian Institute (U.S.); World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Biodiversity and the Bio-Economy; World Economic Forum’s Stewardship Board on Trade and Investment; a Convener of the 'E15 Initiative’, an international undertaking involving over 400 experts seeking options for the global trade and investment system; Member of the Board of Intellectual Property Watch (Geneva); the Operating Board of AccountAbility (London); the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Trade and WEF’s Working Group on Trade and Climate Change; The Pardee Center Task Force on Governance for a Green Economy (U of Boston); The Center for Global Development’s Global Trade Preference Working Group (Washington, DC); The Evian’s Group Brains Trust (IMD); the Global Governance Network of Globus et Locus (Milano); the Steering Committees of DfID’s Global Trade and Finance Architecture Initiative and of UN DESA’s Sustainable Development Knowledge Partnership (New York), a Patron of the Earth Focus Foundation (Geneva); in the recent past he served as Chair of the Global Action Network’s Council (Cambridge, MA); and member of the U.N. Secretary General Millennium Project Task Force on Trade; the WTO’s Director General NGO Advisory Group; and the MOFCOM/IISD China Sustainable Development and Global Markets Task Force.

In 2016 he was an advisor to the G20 China Presidency on Trade and Investment, in 2017 co-chair of the T20 Task Force on Trade and Investment during Germany’s G20 Presidency, in 2018 co-chair of T20 Task Force on Trade, Investment and Tax Cooperation during Argentina’s G20 Presidency and in 2018/2019 co-chair of T20 Task Force for Trade, Investment and Globalization during Japan’s G20 Presidency.

Since 2015, he is part of the Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) Global Digital Futures Policy Forum.

Mr. Meléndez-Ortiz, a graduate of Harvard University, has recently co-authored the New Industrial Revolution: Upgrading Trade and Investment Frameworks for Digitalization (21 August 2018) with Axel Berger: this policy brief was produced by the T20 Task Force on Trade, Investment and Tax Cooperation under the G20 Presidency of Argentina in 2018; Renforcer le système international du commerce et de l’investissement au 21ème siècle (1 December 2016) with Richard Samans; The Law and Economics of a Sustainable Energy Trade Agreement (30 August 2016) with Gary Hufbauer, Richard Samans; Envisioning China’s G20 Presidency: Proposals for the global trade and investment regime in the 21st century (19 March 2016); Strengthening the Global Trade and Investment System in the 21st Century, Synthesis Report, under the E15Initiative (22 January 2016) with Richard Samans, Harsha V. Singh, Sean Doherty; Enabling the Energy Transition and Scale-up of Clean Energy Technologies: Options for the Global Trade System, under the E15Initiative (22 January 2016)Envisioning a Sustainable Development Agenda for Trade and Environment (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) with A. Najam and M. Halle, and co-edited Rebuilding Global Trade: Proposals for A Fairer, More Sustainable Future(Global Economic Governance Programme at Oxford U. and ICTSD, 2009) with C. Deere; Agricultural Subsidies In The WTO Green Box: Ensuring Coherence With Sustainable Development Goals (Cambridge University Press, 2009) with C. Bellmann and J. Hepburn; Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development, Agendas in a Changing World(Edward Elgar Publishing, 2009) with P. Roffe; and, WTO Dispute Settlement: The Developing CountryExperience (Cambridge U. Press, forthcoming November 2010) with G. Shaffer. He holds the Colombian nationality and is a resident of Switzerland where he lives with his wife and two daughters.

Amy Porges advises companies, governments and trade associations on how to use WTO law, trade agreements and investment rules to solve complex market access problems.  She represents governments and stakeholders in negotiations and litigation in the WTO and free trade agreements, and advises on WTO and trade agreement institutions and compliance. Her recent work focuses on trade issues for renewable energy and climate change, free trade agreement dispute settlement, trade in digital products and services, market access negotiations for services and for information technology products, technical barriers to trade, TPP and TTIP, and she has worked with a wide range of industrial and agricultural sectors.  She draws on experience as USTR’s Senior Counsel for Dispute Settlement, as a Senior Legal Officer in the GATT Secretariat during the Uruguay Round, and in major international law firms. She teaches international trade law at Johns Hopkins University and has published widely in trade law. She is a member of the Roster of External Counsel of the Advisory Centre for WTO Law in Geneva. 

Jennifer Y. Prescott was named Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Environment and Natural Resources in January 2013, after previously serving as the Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative in the same office. Ms. Prescott oversees all trade and environment issues for USTR, including those related to free trade agreement (FTA) negotiation and implementation, work in the World Trade Organization (WTO) on trade and environment issues, and trade-related activities under multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs). Ms. Prescott is dedicated to promoting green growth through open trade and investment policies.

Previously, as the Deputy Assistant USTR for Environment and Natural Resources, Ms. Prescott was responsible for reducing trade and investment barriers to U.S. exports of environmental goods and services (EGS), and led USTR’s EGS work in the WTO and in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum. She also served as the lead U.S. negotiator for the environmental chapters of U.S. Free Trade Agreements with Morocco, Bahrain and Oman. Prior to joining USTR’s Environment and Natural Resources Office, Ms. Prescott served as the Director for Transatlantic Trade Issues in USTR’s Europe and the Middle East Office, where she was responsible for managing bilateral trade issues with the European Commission.

Ronald Saborío has been the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) since 1992. In that capacity, he has participated in the GATT Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations, the Doha Development Agenda, and various other negotiations, as well as in the regular work of the multilateral trading system. He has been actively involved in the dispute settlement system of the WTO, as well as under the GATT.  He has been a panellist in a number of cases. Since 2006 he is the Chairman of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body, Special Session. He has chaired other WTO regular and negotiating bodies since 1998.

Ronald Saborío was born in the city of Alajuela, Costa Rica, in 1961.  He is married to María Pérez and has three children. He studied in the School of Law, University of Costa Rica (Licenciatura en Derecho). From 1986-1989 he made Graduate Studies in International Law and PhD in International Law candidate at Institute of International Studies, University of Geneva in Switzerland.

Mahesh Sugathan is a Senior Research Fellow with the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development in Geneva working on trade, climate change and sustainable energy issues with a focus on climate-technologies. He is also  an independent consultant on trade policy issues and in addition provides business facilitation services for private sector firms. Mr. Sugathan previously worked as 'Programme Coordinator' - Economics and Trade Policy Analysis at the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development in Geneva, Switzerland. At ICTSD, he has also worked on projects covering a broad range of issues, including trade and environment, agriculture, sustainable energy and climate change. He has also been a consultant at the World Bank’s South Asia Regional Office in India on issues of renewable energy and energy efficiency investment policy frameworks. He has also consulted for various other international organisations including the International Trade Centre (ITC), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the ACP Secretariat. 

Mr. Sugathan has a Masters degree in International Law and Economics from the World Trade Institute in Bern. In addition, Mr. Sugathan completed undergraduate and graduate studies in Economics and International Relations at the University of Kerala and the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India. He has also pursued summer-school courses in environmental economics and econometrics from the London School of Economics, United Kingdom. In addition, he holds an M.Phil in European studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University where he researched implications of EU environmental standards on Indian exports. Mr. Sugathan is a citizen of India.

Pierre Tardieu is Senior Political Affairs Advisor at the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). He is in charge of coordinating EWEA’s outreach in view of maintaining a stable regulatory framework favouring the development of the wind industry. Pierre focuses on policy related to the EU Climate and Energy framework, support mechanisms and State aid. He is also in charge of the trade related files spanning from multilateral and bilateral free trade negotiations, to raw materials access.


Pierre joined EWEA in 2011 and has been working on renewable energy and environmental policy since 2006. He has a background in political science and European affairs and is a graduate of the College of Europe, Paris Catholic Institute and Science-Po Strasbourg.  

WTO Headquarters, Centre William Rappard, Room W, 154 Rue de Lausanne, 1211 Geneva

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