Greener Public Purchasing: Opportunities for Climate-Friendly Government Procurement under WTO and EU Rules

Climate Policy Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 217-229, 2006

Posted: 2 Mar 2009

See all articles by Harro van Asselt

Harro van Asselt

Stockholm Environment Institute; University of Eastern Finland

Nicolien van der Grijp

VU University Amsterdam

Frans H. Oosterhuis

Vrije University IVM

Date Written: March 2006

Abstract

This article explores various opportunities for government procurement practices that could contribute to achieving the European Kyoto targets and the diffusion of innovative energy technologies. It examines the potential for conflict between 'climate-friendly' public purchasing, on the one hand, and the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) and the European Directives on public procurement, on the other. The main arguments put forward are, firstly, that the climate mitigation potential of government procurement is significant; and, secondly, that the potential for conflict between climate-friendly procurement and the GPA is limited because of the restricted membership and scope of this agreement. The broader scope of the EU procurement Directives arguably increases the potential for conflict, but it is shown that these rules do not hinder climate-friendly procurement if public entities specify, at an early stage, exactly what they intend to procure, and adhere to the general principles of non-discrimination and transparency. Thirdly, a problem might occur if a public entity wishes to purchase innovative products for which no standard specifications exist and for which there are only a few suppliers. Finally, it is recommended that climate-friendly procurement should be implemented to the fullest extent possible.

Keywords: Climate policy, Government procurement, World Trade Organization

JEL Classification: Q48

Suggested Citation

van Asselt, Harro and van der Grijp, Nicolien and Oosterhuis, Frans H., Greener Public Purchasing: Opportunities for Climate-Friendly Government Procurement under WTO and EU Rules (March 2006). Climate Policy Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 217-229, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1351826

Harro Van Asselt (Contact Author)

Stockholm Environment Institute ( email )

Oxford
United Kingdom

University of Eastern Finland ( email )

PO Box 111
Joensuu, 80100
Finland

Nicolien Van der Grijp

VU University Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, ND North Holland 1081 HV
Netherlands

Frans H. Oosterhuis

Vrije University IVM

De Boelelaan 1115
Amsterdam, 1081 HV
Netherlands

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