Shining a Light on Fossil Fuel Subsidies at the WTO: How NGOs Can Contribute to WTO Notification and Surveillance

Casier, Liesbeth, Robin Fraser, Mark Halle and Robert Wolfe, (2013) 'Shining a Light on Energy Subsidies at the WTO: How NGOs Can Contribute to WTO Notification and Surveillance,' ENTWINED and International Institute for Sustainable Development, November 2013.

29 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2014

See all articles by Liesbeth Casier

Liesbeth Casier

International Institute for Sustainable Development

Robin Fraser

Queen's University - School of Policy Studies

Mark Halle

International Institute for Sustainable Development

Robert Wolfe

Queen's University - School of Policy Studies

Date Written: November 1, 2013

Abstract

Fossil fuel subsidies undermine efforts to mitigate climate change, and they damage the trading system. Multilateral discussion is hampered by inconsistent definitions and incomplete data, which could increase the risks of WTO disputes. Members do not notify such subsidies as much as they should under the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (ASCM), which limits the usefulness of the SCM Committee. The reports of the Trade Policy Review Mechanism on individual countries and on the trading system draw on a wider range of sources, creating an opportunity for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to provide the missing data from publicly available sources. We suggest a new template that could be used for such third-party notifications. The objective is to shine a light on all fossil fuel subsidies that cause market distortions, especially trade distortions. The result should be better, more comparable data for the Secretariat, governments, and researchers, providing the basis for better-informed discussion of the incidence of fossil fuel subsidies and rationale for their use.

Keywords: WTO, fossil fuel subsidies, transparency, NGOs

Suggested Citation

Casier, Liesbeth and Fraser, Robin and Halle, Mark and Wolfe, Robert, Shining a Light on Fossil Fuel Subsidies at the WTO: How NGOs Can Contribute to WTO Notification and Surveillance (November 1, 2013). Casier, Liesbeth, Robin Fraser, Mark Halle and Robert Wolfe, (2013) 'Shining a Light on Energy Subsidies at the WTO: How NGOs Can Contribute to WTO Notification and Surveillance,' ENTWINED and International Institute for Sustainable Development, November 2013.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2378368 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2378368

Liesbeth Casier

International Institute for Sustainable Development ( email )

161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor
Winnipeg
Manitoba, R3B 0Y4, Manitoba
United States

Robin Fraser

Queen's University - School of Policy Studies ( email )

Ontario K7L 3N6
Canada

Mark Halle

International Institute for Sustainable Development ( email )

161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor
Winnipeg
Manitoba, R3B 0Y4, Manitoba
United States

Robert Wolfe (Contact Author)

Queen's University - School of Policy Studies ( email )

Ontario K7L 3N6
Canada

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