Transforming the APEC Outcome on Environmental Goods into a Broader Sustainable Energy Trade Initiative: What are the Options?

Date period
20 December 2013

SummaryIntergovernmental efforts to address barriers to trade and enable trade-related governance in the area of clean energy can facilitate sustainable energy expansion and efforts to address climate change. This paper provides options for transforming the voluntary APEC initiative - intended to reduce tariffs on a list of environmental goods to 5 percent or less by 2015 and to reduce a number of non-tariff barriers - into a more comprehensive sustainable energy trade initiative (SETI). It proposes options for this transformation in three phases. The first phase would involve effectively fulfilling APEC’s existing Honolulu Mandate, prioritising sustainable energy goods and services for liberalisation efforts and extending geographical coverage, including non-APEC economies. The second phase would involve expanding the mandate further to cover other trade-related issues while continuing to retain the voluntary nature of the initiative. The third and final phase would transform this voluntary initiative into a binding one, creating a Sustainable Energy Trade Agreement (SETA).