Clean Energy: Market and Rules
co-organized by International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development and Shanghai WTO Affairs Consultation Center
7th November 2012
The development and scaling up of clean energy is critical for achieving equitable access to sustainable energy, mitigation of climate change and an improved energy security.
The past decade witnessed rapidly growing trade and investment in clean energy and related goods and services. The scale of investment and technological development of clean energy so far, however, is not yet sufficient to make global energy supply secure, inclusive and sustainable.
Therefore, carefully crafted mix of energy, trade and industrial policies are necessary to contribute to wider deployment of more efficient, cleaner technologies that promote green growth and sustainable development.
New innovative approaches could bring together the multitude of issues relevant to technological cooperation, financing and facilitating trade in clean energy, such as a holistic approach to addressing tariff and non-tariff barriers, subsidies, procurement, services, remedies, and trade facilitation. At the regional level-there has been some progress notably within APEC that recently agreed to voluntarily reduce tariffs on a set of 54 environmental goods. APEC members also have a mandate to remove local-content measures in clean energy and address government procurement policies.
A core challenge remains. Without a set of transparent rules with domestic and multilateral disciplines, it becomes less likely to have a prosperous clean energy market and technology flows on a global scale. Should major WTO Members continue to eschew reforms to subsidy/countervailing duty laws or to simply protect domestic manufactures through retaliation, the global solar panels debacle might be only the tip of the iceberg.
China is the largest producer and exporter of renewable energy goods, and is thus vital for the global market and the evolution of the rules of game. All major players must be aware that rules for global clean energy market are not only for their national interests, but also for a global common future of sustainable energy for all.
Both private and public sector stakeholders have a responsibility to undertake collaborative actions on renewable energy at both domestic and international levels. Therefore, a platform for public-private partnership discussions shall be provided.
This conference, taking place during the China International Industry Fair, aims at enhancing the exchange of views on clean energy market and rules among Chinese and international stakeholders including government officials, business leaders and scholars, so as to generate a better understanding of the related issues and to promote the development of clean energy in China and globally.
The event has four specific objectives:
(1) Sharing the latest research findings and policy experiences related to the development and deployment of clean energy;
(2) Analysing the technology path, market trends and challenges at the domestic and global levels;
(3) Strengthening interactions between trade and energy policy makers from different ministries and promoting collaboration for better development of clean energy;
(4) Serving as a platform to engage relevant stakeholders on the need to address trade in the context of sustainable energy, including on the initiative of a Sustainable Energy Trade Agreement (SETA).
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