Chapter 2 Dissecting the Green Component of 21st Century Industrial Policy in the Energy Sector: Implications for the wto System

In: A Multifaceted Approach to Trade Liberalisation and Investment Protection in the Energy Sector
Ilaria Espa
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This chapter dissects the distinctive features of twenty-first century green industrial policy and discusses its implications for the World Trade Organization (wto) system. Focusing on the renewable energy sector, it submits that both renewable energy subsidies and trade remedies targeting renewable energy technologies have been used as green industrial policy instruments albeit the latter have largely escaped wto scrutiny so far. After critically assessing the interplay between the ‘green’ and the ‘industrial’ components of both types of measures, this chapter gives an explanation for the actual trends in wto renewable energy-related disputes and concludes that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the rise of green industry policy does not as much confront the wto system with the problem of reserving more policy space that it is currently available for good (‘green’) renewable energy subsidies, but rather with the problem of eroding the larger than optimal policy space that currently exists for bad (‘industrial’) trade remedies targeting re technologies.

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