Environmental Goods and Services: A Synthesis of Country Studies
Saturday, July 18, 2009
This study presents a synthesis of 17 country studies on environmental goods and services (EG&S) commissioned by the OECD, UNCTAD and the UNDP. The countries examined are Brazil, Chile, China, Cuba, the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Kenya, Korea, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Thailand and Vietnam. Its aim is to identify determinants of demand for EG&S; to show common themes and experiences in the EG&S markets of different countries; and to draw attention to key trade, environment and development policy linkages. It also seeks to contribute to the exchange of expertise and experience in the area of trade and environment so that liberalisation of trade in EG&S can benefit all countries, developing and developed alike.
Environmental Goods and Services: A Synthesis of Country Studies.
OECD Trade and Environment Working Paper No. 2005-03.
By Maxine Kennett, OECD Trade Directorate and Ronald Steenblik, OECD Trade Directorate.
The development of agricultural and industrial capacity, allied with the phenomenon of urban and suburban sprawl, puts pressure on the environment. The challenge for any society is to remedy the problem in ways that are both economically efficient and environmentally effective. The liberalisation of trade in environmental goods and services (EG&S), which are broadly defined as those that measure, prevent, limit, minimise or correct environmental damage to water, air and soil, as well as manage waste, noise and ecosystems, can help meet this challenge. For importing countries, fewer and lower barriers to trade in EG&S can translate into greater access to the most efficient, diverse and least expensive goods and services on the global market. For exporters, liberalisation can create new market opportunities and spur development of globally competitive industries dedicated to environmental
improvements (e.g. via technology development or diffusion).
In recognition of the importance of liberalising trade in EG&S, WTO ministers, meeting in Doha, Qatar, in November 2001, mandated negotiations on “the reduction or, as appropriate, elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers to environmental goods and services”. They recognised also the importance of technical assistance and capacity building in the field of trade and environment and encouraged the sharing of expertise and experience with members wishing to perform environmental reviews at the national level. At the same time, the ministers specifically “instructed the [WTO] Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE) to give particular attention to the effect of environmental measures on market access, especially in relation to developing countries, in particular the least developed among them, and those situations in which the elimination or reduction of trade restrictions and distortions would benefit trade, the environment and development”.
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