Mumbai: The US and the European Union have jointly proposed a new environmental goods and services agreement (EGSA) in the Doha round of world trade talks that seeks to remove barriers to trade to a specific set of climate-friendly technologies.
The EGSA - part of the priority action plan on climate change and energy security related technologies - will form part of the World Trade Organisation''''s Doha round negotiations, with a higher level of commitment on the part of developed and the most advanced developing countries like India.
"WTO members have an unprecedented opportunity to address in a concrete and meaningful way the global environmental challenge of climate change," said US trade representative Susan C Schwab.
"By eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers to environmental goods and services, particularly clean energy technologies, we can lower their costs and increase global access to and use of these important products," she added.
The EGSA seeks to eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers to environmental technologies and services through a two-tier approach starting with a "WTO agreement on worldwide elimination of tariffs on a specific list of climate friendly technologies recently identified by the World Bank".
The initiative is aimed at an early agreement with major economies, including India and China, on a new international climate agreement.
The International Trade Administration (ITA), an agency of the US commerce department, had in April this year, led a `Clean-Energy Technologies Trade Mission'''' to India and China to promote American clean technology goods and services that can help improve the environment.
The proposal underscores the importance of liberalising trade in environmental goods and services in parallel by recognising, for the first time.
Global trade in the environmental goods covered by the US and EU proposal totalled approximately $613 billion in 2006, and global exports of these goods have grown annually by an average of 15 per cent since 2000.