Subsidy Regulation in WTO Law: Some Implications for Fossil Fuels and Renewable Energy

L Hancher and A De Hauteclocque (eds), State Aid in the Energy Sector (Hart Publishing, 2017)

Tilburg Law School Research Paper No. 20/2016

TILEC Discussion Paper No. 2016-022

27 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2016 Last revised: 11 Jul 2017

See all articles by Anna-Alexandra Marhold

Anna-Alexandra Marhold

Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, Leiden Law School

Date Written: October 5, 2016

Abstract

This contribution discusses WTO subsidies disciplines in the context of the energy sector. After laying out the relevant disciplines, it will discuss the paradox of WTO law with respect to subsidies towards fossil fuels vis-à-vis those towards renewable energy. It is clear that subsidies on clean energy production and consumption are needed to correct market failures and to promote legitimate policy goals such as contributing to sustainable development through the scale up of clean energy, including expanding its trade. However, experience has shown that support schemes for clean energy by their nature and design make them sensitive to WTO dispute settlement. Much more harmful subsidies on fossil fuels, on the other hand, are omnipresent yet often escape being addressed in the multilateral trading system. The contribution will draw upon the examples of ‘energy dual pricing’ and Feed-In Tariffs (FITs). It will argue that while it may be difficult to tackle fossil fuels subsidies in the WTO forum, more efforts are needed to (re)legalise environmental subsidies.

Keywords: WTO Law, International Economic Law, Law and Economics, Energy, Environment, Subsidies, State Aid, Fossil Fuels, Renewable Energy

JEL Classification: F13; F18; F15; F53; F64; H23; H41; H71; K00; K19; K32; L78; L94; L98; O13; O44; Q01; Q27; Q4; Q42

Suggested Citation

Marhold, Anna-Alexandra, Subsidy Regulation in WTO Law: Some Implications for Fossil Fuels and Renewable Energy (October 5, 2016). L Hancher and A De Hauteclocque (eds), State Aid in the Energy Sector (Hart Publishing, 2017); Tilburg Law School Research Paper No. 20/2016; TILEC Discussion Paper No. 2016-022. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2848191 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2848191

Anna-Alexandra Marhold (Contact Author)

Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, Leiden Law School ( email )

Leiden University Law Faculty
P.O. Box 9520
Leiden, 2300 RA
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/staffmembers/anna-alexandra-marhold/publications#tab-1

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