Governments urged to remove trade barriers to meet green goals

Erasing barriers to trade and investment in the energy sector would help countries achieve their green goals. That’s according to the World Energy Council (WEC) which urged governments to tackle […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

Erasing barriers to trade and investment in the energy sector would help countries achieve their green goals.

That’s according to the World Energy Council (WEC) which urged governments to tackle non-tariff measures (NTMs) to achieve the energy trilemma.

It added, NTMs as a trade barrier, frequently relate to customs procedures and import requirements, technical standards and other regulations that impede the flow of goods and services.

WEC’s ‘World Energy Perspective 2016: Non-Tariff measures: next steps for catalysing the low carbon economy’ report found NTMs affect between 80% and 90% of world trade.

Environmental goods represent a trade market of approximately $1 trillion (£0.76tn) annually, it added.

As the world’s largest economies start to use private capital to finance low carbon technologies, the elimination of tariffs and NTMs can be an equally powerful economic force, WEC stated.

It also highlighted tax laws that discriminate against foreign imports and subsidies which are not well designed for certain technologies are among other NTMs which affect investment in energy.

Christoph Frei, WEC’s Secretary General said: “Addressing the energy trilemma presents extraordinary challenges for policymakers and requires an adequate global trade and investment regime.

“This would encourage and leverage investment, innovation and technology uptake, to meet the climate and energy objectives set by the United Nations, G20 and COP 21.”