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Governing Clean Energy Subsidies What Why and How Legal

Governing Clean Energy Subsidies What Why and How Legal

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What kind of clean-energy support measures can be maintained under international trade rules and what cannot? Policy certainty reflected within a clear and coherent trade and energy governance regime is critical for boosting investor confidence and fostering clean energy investments. Ambiguity on clean energy support measures within WTO rules could cast a chilling effect on domestic efforts to scale up sustainable energy. One way of dispelling such ambiguity is through a possible sustainable energy trade agreement (SETA). This paper emphasises the importance of understanding what are the types of clean energy subsidies countries usually provide, why countries provide them, and how they fit into existing legal mechanisms. A SETA, by simultaneously addressing these questions and clarifying existing WTO subsidy rules, would add to the certainty and predictability of a country’s trade and investment climate.
What kind of clean-energy support measures can be maintained under international trade rules and what cannot? Policy certainty reflected within a clear and coherent trade and energy governance regime is critical for boosting investor confidence and fostering clean energy investments. Ambiguity on clean energy support measures within WTO rules could cast a chilling effect on domestic efforts to scale up sustainable energy. One way of dispelling such ambiguity is through a possible sustainable energy trade agreement (SETA). This paper emphasises the importance of understanding what are the types of clean energy subsidies countries usually provide, why countries provide them, and how they fit into existing legal mechanisms. A SETA, by simultaneously addressing these questions and clarifying existing WTO subsidy rules, would add to the certainty and predictability of a country’s trade and investment climate.

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05/31/2014

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Governing Clean Energy Subsidies:What, Why, and How Legal?
 August 2012ICTSD Global Platform on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainable Energy Arunabha Ghosh with Himani Gangania
 A joint initiative with
 
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Governing Clean Energy Subsidies:What, Why, and How Legal?
August 2012ICTSD Global Platform on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainable EnergyArunabha Ghosh with Himani Gangania
 
Published by
International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD)International Environment House 27 Chemin de Balexert, 1219 Geneva, SwitzerlandTel: +41 22 917 8492 Fax: +41 22 917 8093E-mail: ictsd@ictsd.org Internet: www.ictsd.orgPublisher and Director: Ricardo Meléndez-OrtizProgramme Manager: Ingrid JegouProgramme Officer: Mahesh Sugathan
Acknowledgments
This paper is produced by the Global Platform on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainable Energyof the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD). The concept of theresearch has been informed by ICTSD policy dialogues during the past year, in particular a dialogueorganised in Washington DC in November 2011 by the Peterson Institute for International Economics(PIIE) with support of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and ICTSD, as well as high-levelRoundtables- in Geneva in December 2011, on the occasion of the Eighth Ministerial Conference ofthe WTO, an ICTSD Panel Session on SETA at Global Green Growth Forum Stocktaking meeting,Copenhagen in March 2012 and an ICTSD Session at the Global Green Growth Summit in May 2012in Seoul, Korea. The author thanks Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz, Ingrid Jegou, Christophe Bellmann,Mahesh Sugathan, Marie Wilke and Joachim Monkelbaan from ICTSD for their guidance and inputsduring the production of the paper and Vyoma Jha (CEEW) for valuable comments. The authoris also grateful for the comments on an earlier draft received from Gary Horlick (Law Offices ofGary N.Horlick), Chris Beaton (International Institute for Sustainable Development) and Luca Rubini(University of Birmingham).This project has benefited from the generous support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark(DANIDA) and the Global Green Growth Institute. In addition, ICTSD is grateful for the support ofits main donors including the UK Department for International Development (DFID); the SwedishInternational Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA); the Netherlands Directorate-General ofDevelopment Cooperation (DGIS); the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark (Danida); the Ministryfor Foreign Affairs of Finland; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway; Australia’s AusAID; the InterAmerican Development Bank (IADB); Oxfam Novib and the Deutsche Gesellschaftfür InternationaleZusammenarbeit (GIZ).ICTSD welcomes feedback on this document. These can be forwarded to Mahesh Sugathan,smahesh@ictsd.chFor more information about ICTSD’s work on trade and climate change, visit our website: www.ictsd.orgCitation: Ghosh, Arunabha; with Himani Gangania; (2012);
Governing Clean Energy Subsidies:What, Why and How Legal?
; International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, Geneva,Switzerland, www.ictsd.org ©Copyright ICTSD, 2012. Readers are encouraged to quote and reproduce this material foreducational, non-profit purposes, provided the source is acknowledged.This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-commercial-No-Derivative Works 3.0License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ or send aletter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect theviews of ICTSD or the funding institutions.ISSN 2225-6679

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