Market Access For Environmental Goods - Non-Paper by New Zealand E-mail
Wednesday, July 15, 2009

This non-paper has been prepared in the context of the Chair of the Committee on Trade and Environment Special Session's request that Members "provide as far as possible a description of the environmental, trade and developmental benefits of the products/systems in question."' The paper elaborates on these aspects and notes how improved market access for products that can assist in the remediation and clean-up of soil and water will contribute to achieving improved environment, trade and development outcomes. The paper also responds to the Chair's request that contributions to the technical discussion "indicate products/systems of single environmental-end use". This non-paper is therefore submitted for the purpose of facilitating technical discussions and the attached annex contains all of the items proposed to date by the Membership in the category of remediation and clean-up of soil and water.

Category Definition

One definition of the category of remediation and clean-up of soil and water that has been used internationally is "any activity that produces equipment or specific materials to reduce the quantity of polluting materials in soil and water, including surface water, groundwater and seawater. It includes absorbents, chemicals and bio-remediators for cleaning-up as well as cleaning up systems either in situ or in appropriate installations." These definitions have already been used internationally to identify specific environmental goods. New Zealand drew extensively on this definition and on the outcome of its application in other negotiations to help inform the preparation of its list of environmental goods.

Environmental Benefits

The environmental benefits of the items proposed to date by the Membership in the remediation and clean-up of soil and water are detailed in the annex to this paper. This annex is based on the Secretariat's on-paper. In addition to the environmental benefits, it updates, where possible, the internationally-agreed descriptions for the harmonized system references.

Trade Benefits

The following is data drawn from an updated analysis of the items New Zealand has proposed for the negotiation on environmental goods:

  • In 2004, exports of environmental goods on New Zealand's list accounted for 3.6% of total exports from developing countries globally, compared to 4.7% for all countries combined;
  • Between 1998 and 2001, the trade in environmental goods on the New Zealand list by OECD members rose at a per annum rate of 0.7%. For developing countries, however, the growth rate was nearly 12% per annum;
  • For a large number of developing countries the growth rate in the trade in items on the New Zealand list exceeded an average of 16% per annum and for at least a handful of developing countries the growth rate averaged nearly 40% per annum; and
  • Of the items on the New Zealand list which New Zealand currently imports, nearly 45% are already being supplied by developing countries. Projections suggest that, within the decade, more than half and possibly as many as 65% of New Zealand's imports of environmental goods will come from developing countries.

In terms of the specific category of remediation and clean-up of soil and water, the data is similarly revealing:

  • OECD Member exports in the category are growing at less than 0.5% per annum. Overall developing country exports are growing at over 20% per annum;
  • In many of the specific items, developing countries already dominate the trade. They account for more than 80% of the global trade in erosion control matting (HS460120) and more than half of the trade in absorbent articles made of non-wovens in the forms of sheets rolls, pads, pillows sweeps (HS630790); and
  • More than half of New Zealand's imports in this category are derived from developing countries. In 2004, for instance, they accounted for nearly 75% of New Zealand imports of other electric space heating and soil heating apparatus (HS 85 162909).

In short, an examination of the dynamic trends and the static results indicates that developing countries have a significant and fast growing commercial interest in the trade in environmental goods.

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