The Sustainable Energy Trade Initiative Alliance (SETI Alliance) and its supporters are initiating a web campaign to rally support for an early conclusion of the negotiations on an Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA).
The EGA will be a first step towards making green and clean technologies cheaper and thus help to deploy more effective climate change mitigation technologies around the world.
We ask your trade minister to take the following specific actions in the weeks ahead:
1. Help facilitate the conclusion of an ambitious Environmental Goods Agreement that eliminates tariffs for a broad range of environmental goods.
2. The EGA must be substantial in effect and thus present tariff eliminations beyond other trade agreements.
3. The EGA must allow for further tariff eliminations on a continuing basis to allow new technologies and innovations to be included in the EGA.
4. The EGA should broaden its scope beyond the tariff lines to other important trade areas such as services, non-tariff-barriers, and other significant trade barriers for environmental technologies.
5. The EGA should deliver a first significant result no later than at the WTO ministerial meeting in Nairobi, Kenya from 15 to 18 December 2015.
Why is an Environmental Goods Agreement relevant for the wind industry?
In January 2014 fourteen governments in the WTO agreed to launch negotiations for the elimination of tariffs on environmental industrial goods. Later another three countries – Turkey, Israel and Iceland – joined the negotiations bringing the numbers up to 44 countries (including EU’s 28 member states).
Until now 10 rounds of technical negotiations have been undertaken in Geneva in the WTO – and there is hope (but no guarantees) that these governments will be able before the end of 2015 to agree a list of environmental goods for full tariff elimination. This agreement would cover not only energy products, but e.g. also water waste- and energy efficiency equipment. Hopefully a breakthrough could be reported at the coming climate summit in Paris as a contribution for easing climate change mitigation through technologies by making them cheaper (tariff free). More importantly this would be a first step towards a broader sustainable trade agreement – covering also services, non-tariff-barriers etc. read more
The components (wind generations sets, towers, generators etc) used in the wind industry are well covered in the provisional list being negotiated currently – and an agreement would mean elimination of tariffs – sometimes as high as 8-15% – which certainly is significant. Even in markets like the EU – with tariffs between 2-3% – an agreement would also lower the cost of the wind turbines, and thus be a useful contribution to the lowering of the cost of energy.
Certainly an environmental goods agreement would not be a panacea for the wind industry, but it could prove to be a good start for delivering more governance and transparency for investors and manufactures allowing the development of globalized supply and value chains.
Therefore support the SETI Alliance with this campaign – to help your industry – by signing on to this petition: http://seti-alliance.org/en/petition/governments-must-finalise-a-new-international-trade-agreement