|Report from Meeting on 26th June on Biofuels|
|Report from Meeting on 27th June on the Climate and Trade Nexus|
|Report from Meeting on 28th June on Impact Assessment|
A session was held at Onze (11.11.11 (Vlasfabriek Straat = the Flemish NGDO platform) to plan a later meeting at the European Parliament (which conflicted with DG Trade's event). The invitation to the event from 13-16 h at the EP is here in PDF.
Various representatives from the Global South warned against the current biofuel hysteria. They also denounced sustainability certification.
WWF is of a different
opinion on sustainability
certification. In fact, WWF has just
launched their report on how bioenergy certification should work in the
EU and internationally. It is a follow-up on their response to the
recent EU consultation on biofuels certification and at the same time
"just the start" of their intention to do much more work on bioenergy
certification. Therefore they have explicitly requested feedback
letter, Q&A and
EMPA has just published a report on biofuels of which this Executive Summary (PDF) is available.
Thomas Ruddy maintains this online bibliography on bioenergy.Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson spoke later on biofuels on 5th July 2007 (text) (link to movie and critique from EU Ag lobby).
Trade Commissioner Peter
judged critically the
proposal to introduce a Border Tax Adjustment
(BTA) on products originating outside the signatories to the Kyoto
Protocol as a
"Kyoto tax". Mr. Bercero from DG
Trade said BTA and
competitiveness comprised one of the two most controversial issues
currently on the trade agenda. The
importation of biofuels was the other.
Thomas Ruddy asked
whether any special
liberalization of trade
Goods and Services (EGS) could be done without a successful conclusion
of the Doha Round. Mr. Bercero from DG Trade answered that that would
be the first option, whereas a second option would be to reflect EGS in
bilaterals. Only then would it be conceivable to try to reflect EGS in
a successor regime to the Kyoto Protocol.
Dr. Kamal Gueye of ICTSD
spoke on a
forthcoming study done with the World Bank. One main
result was that the effects of energy efficiency standards were found
to be more significant than those of taxes. He listed the
following functions of the international trade system: regulating,
rewarding and arbitrating. Regulating includes subsidies along with
standards and taxes. EGS falls in the rewarding category. An "Energy
Green Box" (of "traffic light" exceptions to the prohibition) could be
put under the rewarding function as an instrument promoting renewables
such as sustainable biofuels. However as a native
he thought we should "guide producer countries, not create
sustainability criteria." The arbitrating function
could affect ways
that the current
trend towards measuring the
carbon footprint of products affects the competitiveness of products
from the Global South. On the relationship
and Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), Dr. Gueye expressed
his hope that
WTO members would allow trade measures to be supportive of objectives
outside trade policy.
Renate Nikoley from DG Environment announced that a green paper is open for comments on Market-based instruments (MBI), such as environmental taxes, tradable permit systems or targeted subsidies until July.
Tarasofsky and Cosbey have just published a new paper on trade and competitiveness. Pages 19-21 deal with biofuels and with Border Tax Adjustment (BTA): "it is unclear and has never been tested whether such adjustment is permissible for indirect taxes (‘taxes occultes’) on an input that is fully consumed during production" [like CO2]. Later it deals with subsidies, a green box for EGS and energy standards.Francesco Sindico has just published a new paper entitled "Climate Taxes and the WTO: Is the Multilateral Trade Regime a Further Obstacle for Efficient Domestic Climate Policies?" in EcoLomics (Volume 2006).
17 h Afterwards back to Eur.Parl. for this programme in PDF.
A report by The Evaluation Partnership (TEP) was distributed by email in advance, although it was originally supposed to be made available on this official Commission Website on Better Regulation. The bottom portion of that page describes how Evaluation of the Commission's impact assessment system is done. Later the study became available on this other site.