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Trade in Environmental Goods, with Focus on Climate-Friendly Goods and Technologies

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  • ZhongXiang Zhang

    (East-West Center)

Abstract

Paragraph 31(iii) of the Doha Ministerial Declaration mandates to the liberalization of environmental goods and services. This mandate offers a good opportunity to put climate-friendly goods and services on a fast track to liberalization. Agreement on this paragraph should represent one immediate contribution that the WTO can make to fight against climate change. This paper presents the key issues surrounding the liberalization of trade in climate-friendly goods and technologies in WTO environmental goods negotiations. It begins with discussing what products to liberalize and how. Given that WTO Members are divided by this key issue, the paper explores options to move current negotiations on the liberalization of trade in environmental goods and technologies forward, both within and outside the WTO. Recognizing that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for tariff liberalization for all countries and for all environmental goods, the paper suggests the need for a high degree of flexibility to accommodate different situations and stakes in the liberalization of trade in environmental goods. Given that there are simply not enough environmental markets or these markets are weak in many developing countries, the paper emphasizes that creating markets for environmental goods in developing countries is far more important than just improving market-access conditions for associated goods, and discusses how to best serve the interests and concerns of developing countries.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2011.77.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2011.77

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Keywords: Environmental Goods and Services; Low-Carbon Goods and Technologies; Market Access; Doha Round; WTO; Renewable Energy Technologies;

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  1. ZhongXiang Zhang & Lucas Assunao, 2004. "Domestic Climate Policies and the WTO," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 359-386, 03.
  2. World Bank, 2007. "International trade and Climate Change : Economic, Legal, and Institutional Perspectives," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6831.
  3. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2003. "Open Trade with the U.S. without Compromising Canada’s Ability to Comply with its Kyoto Target," Working Papers 2003.68, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  4. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2010. "China in the transition to a low-carbon economy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 6638-6653, November.
  5. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2009. "Multilateral trade measures in a post-2012 climate change regime? What can be taken from the Montreal Protocol and the WTO?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5105-5112, December.
  6. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2010. "The U.S. Proposed Carbon Tariffs, WTO Scrutiny and China’s Responses," Working Papers 2010.34, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  7. Zhang, ZhongXiang & Maruyama, Aki, 2001. "Towards a private-public synergy in financing climate change mitigation projects," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(15), pages 1363-1378, December.
  8. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 1998. "Greenhouse gas emissions trading and the world trading system," MPRA Paper 12971, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2008. "Asian Energy and Environmental Policy: Promoting Growth While Preserving the Environment," MPRA Paper 12224, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Robert Hamwey, 2005. "Environmental Goods: Where Do the Dynamic Trade Opportunities for Developing Countries Lie?," International Trade 0512015, EconWPA.
  11. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2009. "Liberalizing climate-friendly goods and technologies in WTO environmental goods negotiations: product coverage, modalities, challenges and the way forward," MPRA Paper 16943, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 Aug 2009.
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