Thursday May 16, 2013, 11:21 am
Public Citizen and Sierra Club Denounce World Trade Organization Attack on Successful Clean Energy Program
In Final Appeals Ruling, WTO Orders Canada to Roll Back Green Jobs Program
A World Trade Organization (WTO) final ruling against Ontario’s successful renewable energy incentives program, which has reduced carbon emissions and created clean energy jobs, underscores the threat the WTO poses to a clean energy future, Public Citizen and Sierra Club said today.
In November 2012, the WTO ruled that Ontario’s incentives program for renewable energy companies at home – or “feed-in tariff” program – violates WTO rules that forbid treating local or domestic firms and products differently from foreign firms and products. On Monday, the WTO struck down Canada’s appeal of that initial ruling in a decision that went even further to condemn the green jobs program as a violation of WTO rules.
“By ordering the rollback of a successful program that is reducing carbon pollution and creating green jobs after recently sacking three popular U.S. consumer protection policies, the WTO is destroying whatever shred of legitimacy it still had after years of imposing its anti-consumer, anti-environment dictates,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. “Just like the WTO rulings ordering the U.S. to gut popular laws on country-of-origin meat labels, dolphin-safe tuna labels and limits on candy-flavored cigarettes marketed to kids, this latest attack against an initiative promoting renewable energy, localization and green job creation is simply unacceptable.”
Ontario’s renewable energy incentives program was established under the Green Energy and Green Economy Act of 2009. It increases incentives to develop clean and safe renewable energy by guaranteeing that the provincial public electricity utility, Ontario Power Authority, will pay a preferential price for 20 years to companies for the wind, solar and other clean energies they produce. Although the program is new, it already has achieved significant success, including contracts for an estimated 4,600 megawatts worth of clean energy and the creation of more than 20,000 jobs in just two years.
“As people around the world grapple with consequences of the climate crisis, their governments should and must use every tool available to reduce dangerous carbon pollution and create new clean energy jobs,” said Ilana Solomon, Sierra Club trade representative. “To avoid climate chaos, the WTO needs to get out of the way of innovative and successful climate solutions and job creators.”
The Sierra Club and Public Citizen support calls of Canadian allies, including the Council of Canadians, to keep Ontario’s renewable energy incentives program in place.
Thursday May 16, 2013, 3:40 pm
OUTRAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i cannot believe it. That feed-in-tariff is the ONLY tool to guarantee this green energy "revolution" to succeed, it is exactly what we in Europe /Germany have done and why we got so far ahead! These bastards, even the WTO seems corrupt and bought by Big dirty energy.
Thursday May 16, 2013, 10:27 pm
Canada and the U.S. have trade agreements. Many of those agreements are about non-tariff-barriers to trade, which include subsidies to domestic production large enough that they can afford to sell at a lower price than could a competitor from the other countries (purely as a result of those subsidies). There may be perfectly justifiable non-tariff-barriers, but the changes in the treaties should come before those on the ground.
Besides, this is not as big an issue as it may seem: Last I checked, the program was a whole lot less successful than advertised. It had gotten widespread compliance and construction of wind-based production-capacity, but those generators were never connected to the grid due to load-balancing issues, so those who signed on just lost the construction-money.
Friday May 17, 2013, 6:05 am
We also have the TPP, which will allow corporations to be exempt from the laws of sovereign nations in which they do business, including environmental standards and labor related issues. We have to get the mega- money from corporations out of our election process and get people in there to stand up to the corporate takeover of the global economy and food supply. Overturn Citizens United, for a start.
Friday May 17, 2013, 8:54 am
Noted & posted. Perhaps we should all just start ignoring their diktats. I have a great Calvin poster that is quite relevant to the situation but unfortunately I am only allowed text.
Friday May 17, 2013, 8:56 am
Addendum: Mr. Harper; please tell these jokers to STFU and MTOFB. Stay out of Canadian affairs that profit our environment. This organization has no authority or relevance any more.
Friday May 17, 2013, 8:59 am
Stephen and Linda you raise excellent valid points. I am not a fan of wind power at all. I like solar but as Mr. McGuinty found out you need invertor units to convert the alternative energy to the existing grids. They are expensive. Let's go scalar wave.