The Paris Agreement’s goal to limit global warming to well below 2 ̊C compared to pre-industrial levels will require a massive scale-up of clean energy supply and a more efficient use of energy.


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Streamlined and well-functioning global value chains will be key to unleash the trillions of dollars of investment needed to this end, while also allowing countries to contribute according to their comparative advantages. This will enable a more efficient production and provision of equipment, services and technologies, lowering their costs and ultimately reducing clean energy prices.

While trade policy can play a key role in this regard, a wide range of obstacles stand in the way of value chain optimisation. These include border measures such as import duties, as well as a range of behind the border measures like standards, conformity assessment procedures, local content requirements, procurement practices, and restrictions on trade in services.

The Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) being negotiated by a group of WTO members seeks to eliminate tariffs on a broad range of environmental goods, including in the area of clean energy and energy efficiency. At the last G7 summit, the group called for an “ambitious” and “future-oriented” EGA, which could provide room for addressing services and non-tariff measures in a second phase. While negotiations are on hold for the moment, there is nevertheless scope to discuss and strengthen the clean energy-component of the agreement. Regional and bilateral trade agreements could also play an important role in driving the diffusion and deployment of clean energy.

This dialogue, co-organised by ICTSD and the World Eneregy Council, will showcase findings from recent research on global value chains and non-tariff measures, and discuss options for trade policy to help scale up clean energy supply. It is intended to create a better understanding of how market access and domestic supply capacity interact with trade policy in order to inform future trade policy making that is conducive to a clean energy scale-up. 

For security reasons, registration is mandatory. Registration will close on Thursday, 2 February at 17:00.

Programme Highlights

Programme Highlights



Key Speakers

Christoph Frei, World Energy Council

Born in Switzerland in 1969, Christoph Frei became WEC’s youngest Secretary General in April 2009. During this time, he has lead the further development of the world-renowned London-based organisation through a number of initiatives, including the initiation of WEC’s on-going Global Energy Scenarios and Energy & Climate Policy Assessment flagship projects or, the facilitation of high-level World Energy Leaders’ Summits to enhance the relevance and impact of the 90 years old organisation.

Prior to joining WEC, Christoph was a member of the Executive Council of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and its Senior Director in charge of Energy (2001-2009). Since 2006, he is also an Adjunct Professor at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and a member of WEF’s Global Agenda Council on Energy Security (since 2009). Previously he held various positions as Research Fellow and Lecturer at Swiss Federal Technical Institutes in Zurich (ETHZ), Lausanne (EPFL) and Würenlingen (PSI).