Trade for environmental goods and services

Posted on 14 September 2010

The World Energy Council, through its Task Force on Trade and Investment Rules, has been monitoring the progress in the WTO’s commendable efforts to reduce or eliminate barriers to trade for environmental goods and services, both in the Committee on Trade and Environment in Special Session (CTE-SS) and in plurilateral talks.

The Doha mandate asks WTO members to negotiate an agreement on “the reduction or, as appropriate, elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers to environmental goods and services”. In its September 2009 report, our Task Force strongly supported the elimination of such barriers. The September 2009 WEC report also underscored the direct benefits to the global community of securing binding and predictable market access for environmental-friendly products, thereby realizing an important part of the trade, environment and development goals of the Doha Round.

To contribute to the WTO process the WEC Task Force was directed to prepare a second document to be of assistance to the WTO and its members in these efforts. Specifically, the Task Force was asked to compile a list of the most critical energy-related environmental goods (“EGs”) and their HS tariff classifications on which duties could realistically be reduced or eliminated.

The product of the Task Force’s efforts over the last four months has been sent to the WTO on 14 September 2010 in time for the WTO Public Forum on 15 September 2010. It will also be discussed during the World Energy Congress in Montreal.

Proposed list of goods for inclusion under an environmental goods agreement (204.74 kB) (PDF, 205kB).