Clean Energy Technologies

Examines the major challenges and opportunities for promoting the use of Clean Energy Technologies (CETs) for the benefit of climate action through trade and develops options for the global trade system to support the scale up of CETs and respond to the urgency of the climate change imperative.

Clean Energy Technologies and the Trade System

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With the challenges of access to energy, energy security and climate change imperatives becoming more pronounced in recent years, an interest in clean energy has surged. There is a need to phase out the use of fossil fuels, reduce energy intensity, and shift to a cleaner energy mix, making reform of the supply and use of energy a key priority for the global community.

As countries strive to accomplish this shift – often in combination with other policy goals such as generating domestic jobs and revenue – a range of policies and measures have been put in place, some of which have trade implications. Consequently, tensions arise and there is an increasing recourse to the WTO and its dispute settlement mechanism. This raises questions as to whether the existing rules are the most adequate to arbitrate and adjudicate.

Currently, there are no energy-specific rules or commitments in the WTO, nor any structured discussion in the WTO on issues related to renewable energy. Yet research indicates that a supportive framework of rules as well as targeted trade reform could contribute to fostering the scale-up of renewable energy. Given the considerable potential sustainable development benefits, this avenue should be fully explored and sustained.

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Publications and Blogs

This compilation of seven papers was produced in 2013 in the context of the “E15 Expert Group on Clean Energy Technologies and the Trade System”, convened by ICTSD, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) and Chatham …

The world today confronts an urgent need to address climate change and the serious consequences that a global temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius threatens to bring with it. At the same time, …

Actual and potential conflicts between the trade regime and the climate change regime are problematic to both. There is an increasing sense of urgency based on the accumulating evidence from climate science that more effective …

In recent years, trade remedies have increasingly been directed towards clean energy, such as solar panels, wind turbines and biofuels (biodiesel and bioethanol). This new trend has become apparent among most major producers of clean …

World Trade Organization Members’ understanding of what comprises a Sustainable Energy Services sector needs to be enhanced, whether through a new Trade in Services Agreement or through negotiations initiated under the WTO. While each member …

This piece considers whether the recent Canada-Renewable Energy/FIT case gives any ammunition to the argument that the World Trade Organization’s subsidy law, as embodied in the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, is in need …

The case for policy space for clean energy policies has to be made in terms of the political- and other challenges of adopting ideal or optimal policies to ensure that the relative pricing of clean …

As the aggressive use of trade remedies by the United States and the European Union against China, and vice versa, in the solar panel disputes shows, each of the major trade remedies — anti-dumping (AD), …

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This compilation of seven papers was produced in 2013 in the context of the “E15 Expert Group on Clean Energy Technologies and the Trade System”, convened by ICTSD, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) and Chatham …

The world today confronts an urgent need to address climate change and the serious consequences that a global temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius threatens to bring with it. At the same time, …

Actual and potential conflicts between the trade regime and the climate change regime are problematic to both. There is an increasing sense of urgency based on the accumulating evidence from climate science that more effective …

In recent years, trade remedies have increasingly been directed towards clean energy, such as solar panels, wind turbines and biofuels (biodiesel and bioethanol). This new trend has become apparent among most major producers of clean …

World Trade Organization Members’ understanding of what comprises a Sustainable Energy Services sector needs to be enhanced, whether through a new Trade in Services Agreement or through negotiations initiated under the WTO. While each member …

This piece considers whether the recent Canada-Renewable Energy/FIT case gives any ammunition to the argument that the World Trade Organization’s subsidy law, as embodied in the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, is in need …

The case for policy space for clean energy policies has to be made in terms of the political- and other challenges of adopting ideal or optimal policies to ensure that the relative pricing of clean …

As the aggressive use of trade remedies by the United States and the European Union against China, and vice versa, in the solar panel disputes shows, each of the major trade remedies — anti-dumping (AD), …

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