January 24, 2014
The World Trade Organization members — Australia, Canada, China, Costa Rica, the European Union, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei and the United States — announce the launch of a new initiative to eliminate tariffs on environmental goods at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Following is the joint statement regarding trade in environmental goods.
World Economic Forum
January 24, 2014
JOINT STATEMENT REGARDING TRADE IN ENVIRONMENTAL GOODS
We the representatives of Australia; Canada; China; Costa Rica; the European Union; Hong Kong, China; Japan; Korea; New Zealand; Norway; Singapore; Switzerland; Chinese Taipei; and the United States welcome Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ agreement to explore opportunities in the World Trade Organization (WTO) to build on its ground-breaking commitment to reduce tariffs on the APEC List of Environmental Goods by the end of 2015. So today, we announce our commitment to achieve global free trade in environmental goods, and pledge to work together, and with other WTO Members similarly committed to liberalization, to begin preparing for negotiations in order to advance this shared goal.
We are convinced that one of the most concrete, immediate contributions that the WTO and its Members can make to protect our planet is to seek agreement to eliminate tariffs for goods that we all need to protect our environment and address climate change.
We anticipate a structure for an environmental goods agreement that would reinforce the rules-based multilateral trading system and benefit all WTO Members, including by involving all major traders and applying the principle of Most Favored Nation. Such an agreement would take effect once a critical mass of WTO Members participates.
Our work will build upon APEC Leaders’ commitment to reduce tariffs on the APEC List of 54 Environmental Goods. APEC has given us a good start, and we are committed to exploring a broad range of additional products, in the context of a future oriented agreement able to address other issues in the sector and to respond to changes in technologies in the years to come, that can also directly and positively contribute to green growth and sustainable development.
Building on the momentum created by the agreement reached in Bali, we strongly believe that this effort in the WTO will add impetus and energy to the multilateral trading system and support its mission to liberalize trade, and make a significant contribution to the international environmental protection agenda, including our shared efforts in the ongoing United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations to combat climate change and transition to a green economy.