Market Access For Environmental Goods: Revised New Zealand List E-mail
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Page 1 2 3 All

New Zealand welcomes the further intensification of the negotiations pursuant to Paragraph 31(iii) of the Doha Ministerial Declaration on environmental goods. With a view to further contributing to this intensification, this submission contains a revision of New Zealand’s provisional list of environmental goods.

The New Zealand List Of Environmental Goods

New Zealand’s provisional list of environmental goods was first submitted to the Committee on Trade and Environment in Special Session (CTESS) on 26 May 2005 .  In that submission, New Zealand recalled its approach to the environmental goods negotiations under paragraph 31 (iii).  In particular it was noted that New Zealand had earlier proposed  that rather than focus on definitional issues, the Committee proceed in these negotiations by ‘defining by doing’ through the use of “reference points.”  In this way, the CTESS would be able to establish the precise scope of the negotiations by identifying particular products which Members might consider “environmental goods.” In this submission, New Zealand also introduced the concept of a “living list.” Implementation of this part of the New Zealand proposal would ensure that any agreed WTO list of environmental goods could take into account the dynamic nature of new technologies, given the continual evolution of the environmental industry.  The concept has been supported by other Members  and New Zealand expects to table an elaboration of its ‘living list’ proposal shortly.

The approach of “defining by doing” was implemented through the development of the New Zealand list of environmental goods. This utilised the concept of “reference points” which acted as a type of screening mechanism to ensure nominated products met a basic threshold.  In addition, the products New Zealand proposed for the negotiations were further organised into categories. This was designed to assist the negotiations by providing an indication of the environmental purposes for which these products might be used. In its development of its list, New Zealand identified five new categories in addition to those proposed to date . These were wastewater management; natural risk management; environmentally preferable products based on end-use or disposal characteristics ; cleaner or more resource-efficient technologies and products; and waste and scrap utilization products.

Members have had numerous opportunities to comment on the New Zealand list of environmental goods, including at the twelfth and thirteenth meetings of the CTESS (7-8 July and 15 16 September 2005). In addition to these meetings, New Zealand engaged in a series of bilateral meetings to discuss, inter alia, its list of environmental goods. A number of Members sought more specific information from New Zealand so that they could better understand the rationale for its nomination of certain items as environmental goods.

It was against the background of the twelfth and thirteenth meetings of the CTESS that New Zealand provided further information about its list of environmental goods. In order to supplement the reference points and categories already utilised, New Zealand introduced a new ‘Environmental Benefits’ column to its list of products.   This provided succinct explanations of the environmental applications and advantages of all of the products on New Zealand’s environmental goods list.  This information was designed to assist Members in the more technical discussions of categories. It also sought to assist Members wanting to consider the trade and environment ‘win-win’ potential of the products proposed for the environmental goods negotiation. The revised New Zealand submission also included a second new column correlating each product on its list to the entries contained in Annex II of the WTO Secretariat's "Synthesis of Submissions on Environmental Goods". This was designed to assist in cross-referencing the New Zealand list with the Secretariat’s document.

Like many other Members, New Zealand considers that there is a third ‘win’ in these negotiations which supplements the dual ‘wins’ on environment and trade. This is the potential that the negotiations under paragraph 31(iii) have to contribute to substantive international development related outcomes.  It is recalled in this regard that New Zealand has formally outlined in some detail the numerous developmental benefits that it considers can be secured as a consequence of the liberalisation of trade in environmental goods. 

APEC EGS News / Updates

Most Read Articles
Related Articles
Copyright © 2024