EU in joint launch of WTO negotiations for green goods agreement

| January 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

r264602_1104936In the margins of the World Economic Forum in Davos the EU, together with a dozen other WTO members, today pledged to launch negotiations in the WTO on liberalizing trade in so-called ‘green goods’. The initiative builds on the ground-breaking success of the 9th WTO Ministerial in Bali last month.

The aim of this initiative is to eliminate tariffs on a broad list of green goods. The discussions will not start from scratch but will build upon the APEC list of 54 green goods. Talks will first focus on goods, but the WTO members behind the initiative hope to create a ‘living agreement’ that will grow and evolve according to future needs, thereby making it possible to address other barriers to trade in green goods and services.

‘Green goods’ are seen as a vital component in sustainable development and cover areas as diverse as tackling air pollution, managing waste, or generating renewable energy like wind or solar. Developing countries, in particular, which, in addition to environmental issues, often face challenges posed by rapid urbanisation, are expected to gain from easier and cheaper access to environmental goods, services and technologies. This initiative will contribute to meeting the EU new ambitious green-house gas emissions reduction and renewable energy targets announced in the Commission’s 2030 climate and energy framework this week.

“I’m delighted to launch this ‘green goods’ initiative,” declared EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht. “The EU is firmly committed to promoting and liberalising trade in ‘green goods and services’. All WTO members need better access to the goods and technologies that protect our environment and combat climate change. Today’s commitment is an important trade contribution towards addressing key environmental challenges as part of our broader, ambitious sustainable growth agenda” The EU Trade Commissioner also called upon other WTO Members to join the effort to create a global green goods agreement that would cover most of world trade and generate benefits for all WTO Members.

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Category: A Frontpage, EU, World Trade Organization (WTO)

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