from Meeting on 30th June on Trade and Climate
Unlike the EADI insider conference in Geneva,
the meeting with DG Trade
in Brussels had a more polarized discussion between business lobbyists
and environmental NGOs.
Charly Poppe from Friends of the Earth Europe opened with an
attack on DG Trade's "Global Europe" strategy. It was said to restrict
policy space so that governments could not act on climate change with
instruments such as efficiency standards. Here is his report in
Ditte Juul-Joergensen from DG Trade went over the climate aspects of
trade policy. This document from DG Trade was supposed to be
the basis for discussion, but was neither
distributed nor mentioned in the Civil Society Meeting on Climate
Change. She mentioned that better respect for Intellectual Property
Rights (IPRs) was essential for the spread of Environmental Goods and
Services (EGS). All deplored the consequences for Article 31,
"Environmental Goods and
Services" (EGS), if the current chances for a successful conclusion of
the Doha Round remain so improbable that the resulting fate of the Doha
Declaration is jeopardized. EU
trade chief Mandelson is striving to launch negotiations. Only a few
days after the meeting, an exchange of insults occurred between him and
current EU President Sarkozy sparked by the
Irish No vote per BBC.
After the presentations on the agenda, Thomas Ruddy took the floor and
introduced SERI as a research institute having developed the Global Resource Accounting Model (GRAM) tool
for modelling material-based
trade flows in addition to monetary
flows and having recently co-authored a study for the European
Parliament on carbon leakage. He warned that the bill in the US
Congress co-sponsored by Lieberman would have imposed border tax
adjustments (BTA) against non-US countries that fail to tax
carbon. Later Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI) warned that
BTAs would trigger retaliation under GATT Article 20.
Th. Ruddy countered DG Trade's assertion about IPRs, asserting that
they could be more expensive than trade barriers. Later DG Trade
reported that "some larger Member States have floated ideas" and it has
an internal study going on to investigate IPRs.
Th. Ruddy asked the following two questions pertaining to other DGs:
plans for VAT exclusion for EGS and the planned inclusion of aircraft
in the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS), as had been mentioned here. As for the latter, he was told that the EU
was represented in Bonn with a side-event. The fact
might take divergent routes poses a problem. Norway and Switzerland are
pro. However individuals will not be included in the ETS, nor will cars.
Th.Ruddy asked what would happen to the "results" of the consultation.
He was reminded that minutes were to be posted here
"Ad hoc meeting" and distributed within DG Trade to all interested
SERI had a special highlight
last month on International Trade and Environmental
Updated: 29th July
up to http://www.wsis.ethz.ch/seri.htm
member page Thomas Ruddy
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