World powers start talks on environmental goods

Some of the world’s most powerful economies have started talks towards a deal that would cut tariffs on environmental goods. Officials from the European Union as well as other World […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Some of the world’s most powerful economies have started talks towards a deal that would cut tariffs on environmental goods.

Officials from the European Union as well as other World Trade Organisation (WTO) members including China, US, Japan, Australia and Singapore, formally opened the negotiations on the agreement of free trade yesterday.

They aim to reduce custom duties or tariffs on a range of green goods that help clean the air and water and manage waste, are energy efficient, control air pollution and help generate renewable energy like solar, wind or hydro.

The EU said it is particularly interested in reducing barriers to trade in environmental services such as the maintenance and engineering for wind farms.

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said the initiative is “win-win for the economy and the environment”.

He added: “It is an excellent example of how trade policy can have a positive impact on green growth, green jobs, sustainable development and climate change. Looking beyond the obvious benefits for the planet, green trade means green growth for our companies – the world leaders in environmental technologies – and green jobs for EU citizens.”