Market Access For Environmental Goods: Revised New Zealand List E-mail
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Page 1 2 3 All

New Zealand welcomes the further intensification of the negotiations pursuant to Paragraph 31(iii) of the Doha Ministerial Declaration on environmental goods. With a view to further contributing to this intensification, this submission contains a revision of New Zealand’s provisional list of environmental goods.

The New Zealand List Of Environmental Goods

New Zealand’s provisional list of environmental goods was first submitted to the Committee on Trade and Environment in Special Session (CTESS) on 26 May 2005 .  In that submission, New Zealand recalled its approach to the environmental goods negotiations under paragraph 31 (iii).  In particular it was noted that New Zealand had earlier proposed  that rather than focus on definitional issues, the Committee proceed in these negotiations by ‘defining by doing’ through the use of “reference points.”  In this way, the CTESS would be able to establish the precise scope of the negotiations by identifying particular products which Members might consider “environmental goods.” In this submission, New Zealand also introduced the concept of a “living list.” Implementation of this part of the New Zealand proposal would ensure that any agreed WTO list of environmental goods could take into account the dynamic nature of new technologies, given the continual evolution of the environmental industry.  The concept has been supported by other Members  and New Zealand expects to table an elaboration of its ‘living list’ proposal shortly.

The approach of “defining by doing” was implemented through the development of the New Zealand list of environmental goods. This utilised the concept of “reference points” which acted as a type of screening mechanism to ensure nominated products met a basic threshold.  In addition, the products New Zealand proposed for the negotiations were further organised into categories. This was designed to assist the negotiations by providing an indication of the environmental purposes for which these products might be used. In its development of its list, New Zealand identified five new categories in addition to those proposed to date . These were wastewater management; natural risk management; environmentally preferable products based on end-use or disposal characteristics ; cleaner or more resource-efficient technologies and products; and waste and scrap utilization products.

Members have had numerous opportunities to comment on the New Zealand list of environmental goods, including at the twelfth and thirteenth meetings of the CTESS (7-8 July and 15 16 September 2005). In addition to these meetings, New Zealand engaged in a series of bilateral meetings to discuss, inter alia, its list of environmental goods. A number of Members sought more specific information from New Zealand so that they could better understand the rationale for its nomination of certain items as environmental goods.

It was against the background of the twelfth and thirteenth meetings of the CTESS that New Zealand provided further information about its list of environmental goods. In order to supplement the reference points and categories already utilised, New Zealand introduced a new ‘Environmental Benefits’ column to its list of products.   This provided succinct explanations of the environmental applications and advantages of all of the products on New Zealand’s environmental goods list.  This information was designed to assist Members in the more technical discussions of categories. It also sought to assist Members wanting to consider the trade and environment ‘win-win’ potential of the products proposed for the environmental goods negotiation. The revised New Zealand submission also included a second new column correlating each product on its list to the entries contained in Annex II of the WTO Secretariat's "Synthesis of Submissions on Environmental Goods". This was designed to assist in cross-referencing the New Zealand list with the Secretariat’s document.

Like many other Members, New Zealand considers that there is a third ‘win’ in these negotiations which supplements the dual ‘wins’ on environment and trade. This is the potential that the negotiations under paragraph 31(iii) have to contribute to substantive international development related outcomes.  It is recalled in this regard that New Zealand has formally outlined in some detail the numerous developmental benefits that it considers can be secured as a consequence of the liberalisation of trade in environmental goods. 


On 12 October and on 1 November 2005, substantive information exchange sessions were held to discuss the products which Members had proposed for the negotiations on environmental goods. This provided a useful opportunity for Members, including New Zealand, to explain the trade, environmental and development benefits of the products that have been proposed to date.

At these two information exchange sessions, the linkages between environmental goods and environmental services were explored. New Zealand, for instance, referred to a range of current and forthcoming studies that underline the close relationship between environmental goods and environmental services.   New Zealand also reported in some detail on the linkages it considered existed between the delivery of environmental services related to the items it had proposed. New Zealand made specific reference to environmental services related to wastewater management products, environmentally preferable products defined by end-use, products that can assist in natural risk management and soil and water remediation and clean-up products. It was also noted by many Members that the linkages between the negotiations in the CTESS and those underway in the Special Session of the Committee on Trade in Services should be borne in mind during the negotiations on environmental goods. In this regard, New Zealand further recalled a report by the Chair of the CTESS to the Trade Negotiations Committee. This confirmed that there was broad support in the CTESS for the view that the negotiations on environmental services be conducted as part of the overall services negotiations in the Special Session of the Council for Trade in Services.  Moreover, New Zealand is also a co-sponsor of a plurilateral request on environmental services which is being pursued as part of the complementary approaches to the services market access negotiations, as mandated by the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration.

At both of the information exchanges in 2005, New Zealand also took the opportunity to note that it stood ready to engage on the range of cross-cutting issues identified in paragraph 31(iii) of the Doha Declaration. Indeed, some of the products on the New Zealand list were being provided through a form of technology transfer to developing countries, particularly in the South Pacific region, with a particular emphasis on wastewater management products, monitoring and assessment equipment and soil and water remediation and clean-up items.

In terms of the issue of non-tariff barriers, New Zealand like other Members regarded this as a similarly serious issue. It proposed that discussion move from the abstract and conceptual to the practical and New Zealand looked forward to the identification of specific non-tariff barriers that affected Members’ market access for environmental goods.

At the information exchange sessions and subsequently, New Zealand took the opportunity to note that it saw scope to ensure that special and differential treatment issues be addressed. This particular issue has been taken up in a specific proposal on modalities that New Zealand co sponsored. 

 


 The Post-Hong-Kong Ministerial Process

At the Ministerial meeting in Hong Kong, Ministers instructed officials to intensify the negotiations and to complete the work expeditiously under paragraph 31(iii) . This provided the context for the CTESS meeting on 21-22 February, 2006 at which Members explored the range of possible parameters which might be used to inform the negotiations. This in turn provided the basis for three further technical discussions on environmental goods. These took place on 4 5 April, 10 12 May and 12 13 June. Each meeting considered specific categories of environmental goods.

The first technical discussion on environmental goods provided an opportunity to exchange technical information about the categories of Air Pollution Control and Renewable/Clean Energy. The second focused on the Wastewater Management and Solid and Hazardous Waste Management categories. The third technical exchange considered the remaining categories proposed by Members. This encompassed the range of products that were contained in the categories of Environmental Monitoring, Analysis and Assessment Equipment; Remediation and Clean-Up of Soil and Water; Cleaner Technology and Products;  Environmentally Preferable Products Based on End-Use or Disposal Characteristics; Products with High Environmental Performance or Low Environmental Impacts; Others (Noise and Vibration Abatement; Resource Management; Heat and Energy Management; Natural Risk Management; Potable Water Treatment; Recycling Systems; and Soil Conservation). 

New Zealand was an active participant at all three technical sessions. At the first technical session at which Renewable/Clean Energy and Air Pollution Control products were considered, New Zealand registered its view that a focus on single-end use products would fail to meet the mandate of the negotiations to contribute to the environment and development objectives Ministers had established at Doha, Qatar in 2001. 

New Zealand co sponsored a paper with a number of other Members that was designed to facilitate the exchanges at the second technical session on 10 12 May.  This meeting was focused on products proposed for the categories of Waste Water Management and Solid and Hazardous Waste Management. The paper responded to the Chair’s request to provide "detailed explanations on the environmental and developmental aspects of products that have been identified under the two new categories"  of waste water management and solid and hazardous waste products. It elaborated in detail on both of these aspects and noted how improved access for environmental goods would help Members achieve improved environment and development outcomes. It also provided a definition of the two categories  under discussion and outlined the range of approaches taken on dual and multi use items.

New Zealand found the exchanges at the second technical session helpful in terms of informing its own thinking on some of the items it had proposed for the negotiations. In particular, New Zealand took careful note of the range of perspectives expressed regarding the waste and scrap utilization category it had identified. Additionally, comments regarding some of the chemicals which New Zealand had identified as having environmental benefits were also taken into account in the context of New Zealand’s ongoing work to review its list of environmental goods.

The third technical exchange session considered the remaining categories proposed by Members. These were Environmental Monitoring, Analysis and Assessment Equipment; Remediation and Clean-Up of Soil and Water; Cleaner Technology and Products;  Environmentally Preferable Products Based on End-Use or Disposal Characteristics; Products with High Environmental Performance or Low Environmental Impacts; Others (Noise and Vibration Abatement; Resource Management; Heat and Energy Management; Natural Risk Management; Potable Water Treatment; Recycling Systems; and Soil Conservation).

New Zealand presented a submission on the category of Remediation and Clean-Up of Soil and Water to the third technical exchange session.  This responded to the Chair of the CTESS’ request that Members who had proposed products for the negotiation “provide as far as possible a description of the environmental, trade and developmental benefits of the products/systems in question.”   The New Zealand submission elaborated on these aspects. It noted how improved market access for products that assist in the remediation and clean-up of soil and water will contribute to achieving improved environment, trade and development outcomes. The paper also responded to the Chair’s request that contributions to the technical discussion “indicate products/systems of single environmental-end use”.  The annex to the paper outlined all of the items proposed to date by the Membership in the category of Remediation and Clean-Up of Soil and Water.

Click here to see full text

 

 
APEC EGS News / Updates

Most Read Articles
Related Articles
Copyright © 2019