Fostering Low Carbon Growth: The Case for a Sustainable Energy Trade Agreement

Research
Date period
4 November 2011

SummaryThis paper is part of a joint initiative on the promotion of sustainable energy, undertaken by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGI), the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) and ICTSD. The issue paper highlights the role of trade in contributing to a significant scale-up and deployment of renewable energy - a crucial step in supporting a shift away from fossil fuel so as to ensure energy security and address climate change. It identifies a number of barriers to trade in sustainable energy goods and services (SEGS), while pointing to a significant governance gap in a number of key issue areas in the trade and sustainable energy interface. The authors argue that this can best be addressed by negotiating a trade agreement on sustainable energy. Such an agreement could initially take the form of a plurilateral agreement including a critical mass of major economies and emitters, either within or outside of the WTO.