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WTO Public Forum 2012: Ideas Workshop on Renewable Energy Policies and Trade

24/09/2012 - 14:30 - 17:30

On behalf of the Trade and Environment Division of WTO, you are cordially invited to participate in the following event, organized as part of this year's WTO Public Forum:

How can we ensure that green economy policies work together rather than at cross purposes?
A closer look at policies to support renewable energy policies

to take place on Monday 24th September 2012 from 14.30 to 17.30
WTO Training Room (4th floor, Centre William Rappard)
(Rue de Lausanne 154, 1211 Geneva 21, Switzerland)

The purpose of this Ideas Workshop is to gather a select group of representatives from government, business, civil society and academia to contribute their expertise and share individual perspectives and experiences on the design and implementation of optimal policies for renewable energy.  The Ideas Workshop will kick off with a lecture by Dr. Carolyn Fischer, Senior Fellow at Resources for the Future, on the interactions between and outcomes of environmental and technology policy options for the promotion of renewable energy, with an application to the electricity sector.  Participants will then have an opportunity to engage in a focused exchange on key issues raised by Dr. Fischer's lecture, including:

• What motivates the adoption of policies to support renewable energy sources?  How do the justifications cited in national green economy strategies differ from first-best justifications for government support for renewable energy?  How does the level of maturity of particular renewable energy technologies influence the choice of policy instrument?

• What is the menu of policy instruments for renewable energy?  What situations call for the use of regulatory instruments instead of market-based mechanisms for renewable energy?  What evidence exists regarding the advantages of price-based mechanisms relative to quantity-based ones? What conditions might justify the use of policy "packages" rather than a single policy instrument?  What are the risks of using multiple policy instruments to support renewable energy?  What are the effects on international trade of different policy instruments for renewable energy?

• What types of institutional structures would help ensure that renewable energy policies work together rather than at cross purposes?  Are there any examples of successful institutional settings? What is the role of cross-border co-operation in supporting greater policy coherence of renewable energy policies? What contribution, if any, can the WTO make in this area? What are the key research priorities to narrow the gap between available empirical research and the needs of models used for policy evaluation?

Ronald Steenblik, Senior Trade Policy Analyst in the Trade and Agriculture Directorate of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), will be the discussant for the session.

Please send an email to by 9:00am on Friday 21 September, indicating your name, title and name of the organization you represent, and your email address. Given space limitations, only registered participants who receive a confirmation email from the workshop organizers can attend.

We look forward to your participation.

Trade and Environment Division, WTO


WTO Training Room (4th floor, Centre William Rappard)
Rue de Lausanne 154, Geneva