Europe can green the globe by pushing trade partners to eliminate tariffs on clean and renewable power technology, EU trade chief Peter Mandelson said Monday.
BRUSSELS, Belgium Europe can green the globe by pushing trade partners to eliminate tariffs on clean and renewable power technology, EU trade chief Peter Mandelson said Monday.
"It should be possible to agree a zero percent deal for these key goods," Mandelson said in a podcast posted on the Web site of the European Commission's trade department.
He said he was writing to Pascal Lamy, the head of the World Trade Organization, to ask him to spearhead this push as the world was faced with the "urgent challenge" of greening the growth of rapidly expanding economies China, India and Brazil.
Europe had a lot to gain in getting ahead of the curve on technologies and services that attempt to tackle climate change and European companies are already exporting wind farms and solar panels to China, he said.
China worries environmentalists by building one coal-powered electricity plant a week to feed its booming economy, adding to the carbon emissions that cause climate change.
"We can ... export the tools and expertise to tackle climate change worldwide," he said, stressing that other countries could also win, citing India's growing exports of low-power water heaters and China trading wind-powered electricity generators with Africa.
"Wherever possible, restrictive national rules on investment or services trade that prevent this transfer of expertise and technology must be removed," he said.
The EU will also push green trade in the bilateral trade pacts it is readying to strike with major partners India, South and Central America and Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
"I want to use our bilateral agreements to provide new opportunities for companies that provide public services like construction in an environmentally friendly way," he said.
But he ruled out a climate tariff on countries -- such as the United States and Australia -- that have not ratified the Kyoto protocol to reduce greenhouse gas releases by 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2012.
Source: Associated Press