A Turquoise Mess: Green Subsidies, Blue Industrial Policy and Renewable Energy: The Case for Redrafting the Subsidies Agreement of the WTO

Cosbey, Aaron; Mavroidis, Petros C.
March 2014
Journal of International Economic Law;Mar2014, Vol. 17 Issue 1, p11
Academic Journal
Canada-Renewable Energy presented the WTO Panel and Appellate Body (AB) with a novel issue: at the heart of the dispute was a measure adopted by the province of Ontario whereby producers of renewable energy would be paid a premium relative to conventional power producers. Some WTO Members complained that the measure was a prohibited subsidy because payments were conditional upon using Canadian equipment for the production of renewable energy. The AB gave them right only in part: it found that a local content requirement had indeed been imposed, but also found that it lacked evidence to determine whether a subsidy had been bestowed. The report is, for the reasons explained below, incoherent and could hardly serve as precedent for resolution of similar conflicts in the future. The facts of the case though, do raise legitimate questions both with respect to the specifics of the case, as well as of more general nature regarding the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM Agreement), and the role of the judge when facing legislative failure. In this article, we provide some responses to these questions in light of the theory and evidence regarding industrial policy in the name of environmental protection.


Related Articles

  • German cabinet approves changes in existing RE law.  // Energy Next;1/1/2014, p1 

    The article reports that the German cabinet of chancellor Angela Merkel has approved the proposed changes on renewable energy law to address the pricing and startup issues.

  • WTO Dispute Settlement 1995–2013—A Statistical Analysis*. Leitner, Kara; Lester, Simon // Journal of International Economic Law;Mar2014, Vol. 17 Issue 1, p191 

    No abstract available.

  • Renewable Energy Ministry pushes for one Act for all green energy policies.  // FRPT- Chemical Snapshot;7/19/2015, p6 

    The article discusses the plans of India's Ministry for New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) of putting in place a Renewable Energy Act to regulate all green energy policies governing the renewable energy sector in India.

  • LEGAL REGULATION OF RENEWABLE ENERGY MARKET. Tikniūtė, Agnė; Milčiuvienė, Saulė // Jurisprudencija;2012, Vol. 19 Issue 4, p1495 

    The aim of this article is to address the regulatory framework as one of the key factors determining the success of creation of single market for renewable energy. No one could possibly argue that non-discriminative and consistent legal regulation plays a big role in the creation of a single...

  • Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More: Subsidies for Renewable Energy, The SCM Agreement, Policy Space, and Law Reform. Rubini, Luca // Journal of International Economic Law;Jun2012, Vol. 15 Issue 2, p525 

    The article discusses the World Trade Organization (WTO) and its subsidies for renewable energy and greenhouse gas mitigation programs as of June 2012, focusing on the WTO's Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM Agreement) and a call for legal reforms in regards to subsidies....

  • Consensus Yet Not Consented: A Critique of the WTO Decision-Making by Consensus. Guan, Wenwei // Journal of International Economic Law;Mar2014, Vol. 17 Issue 1, p77 

    World Trade Organization’s consensus decision-making faces both practical and theoretical challenges. A major practical issue is that consensus involves deference to powers and problems of disenfranchisement; reverse consensus challenges the institutional check-and-balance against...

  • The law of unintended results. O'Keeffe, Matt // Irish Farmers Monthly;Jun2008, p22 

    The article discusses various Irish policies and tactics which have produced unintended results. It explores the major obstacles in the proposal of John Gormley to ban the traditional light bulbs and the contradictions in the policy of a grant aiding renewable energy. It also examines the...

  • Food v. Fuel: Are Legal Attacks on the Renewable Fuel Standard Just a Bunch of Empty Calories? Broome, Shannon S.; Esformes, Paul R. // Natural Resources & Environment;Fall2013, Vol. 28 Issue 2, p33 

    The article discusses the legal issues related to the U.S Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. Topics discussed include RFS as part of the U.S Clean Air Act (CAA) that seeks to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and promote domestic employment, planning of RFS program to reduce greenhouse...

  • Biomass Energy Outlook. Jenner, Mark // BioCycle;Jul2010, Vol. 51 Issue 7, p61 

    The article focuses on the effectivity of the revised Renewable Fuels Standard regulations (RFS2) of the Energy Independence and Security (EISA) Act of 2007 in the U.S. on July 1, 2010. Under the revised regulation, it was stated that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics