What will the EGA do? First, discussions will focus on the removal of tariffs on a wide list of environmental products. Negotiators are relying on a list of 54 products on which APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) member countries have agreed to reduce their tariffs to 5% or less by 2015. In addition, the EGA must become a ”life support agreement” allowing new products to be included in future products. The EU also aims to include services related to the export of environmental goods (for example. B, repair and maintenance of wind turbines) and remove non-tariff barriers, such as local content requirements or investment restrictions. The EU will insist on an ambitious and comprehensive agreement that will bring real benefits to trade and the environment. Currently, only a few WTO members have chosen to participate in the talks. This is why they are called ”plurilaterals.” Once a critical mass is reached to reach an agreement, the benefits of this multi-lateral initiative will be applied to all WTO members who apply the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) principle. Ideally, the agreement would be part of the WTO package of agreements so that other WTO members could open their markets.
What are the benefits of EGA? Last July, 14 countries began negotiations on the free trade of environmental goods (EC) in Geneva through a WTO-sponsored Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA). For the reasons mentioned here, the progress of these negotiations is a barometer that confirms that the recent ”Lima call for Climate Action” is in fact a back-and-forth; Many have secured the Lima agreement as a ”key step on the road” of the December 2015 Paris conference. The 18th round of negotiations was held in Geneva from 26 November to 2 December 2016. Participants discussed product coverage and EGA text in different configurations. After concluding the most sensitive products, the President of the EGA negotiations redesigned the list of landing zones by dividing the products into two categories: products that have a strong chance of achieving broad consensus and products for which the differences are most important. If the current participation of 14 countries in these plurilateral negotiations, which now cover 86% of the world`s trade in roommates, were extended to all WTO members – say, to cover 90% of trade – to all WTO members – this agreement would be the first global treaty on climate change (see here). More open trade will create new markets for Canadian manufacturers, encourage Canadian companies to develop new products to protect the environment, increase availability and reduce the cost of environmental goods to Canadians. As a result, an ambitious agreement will greatly facilitate the achievement of WTO members` green growth and sustainable development goals by creating a win-win situation for trade and the environment. First, the success of the EGA must meet three requirements that have so far eluded us in the search for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol (KP). First, full participation should be encouraged (only 14% of CO2 emissions were covered by the KP). Secondly, we need an organization in which the countries that are parties to the agreement are actually doing what they have promised (through what is now called monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV).