10 Nov 2009

Hearing at the European Parliament, Trade Committee, Brussels

A hearing on challenges for trade in the Copenhagen Process took place on Tuesday 10 November at the European Parliament Trade Committee, in Brussels.

Joelle de Sépibus and Carsten Neuhoff were asked to speak on Climate Change and Border Tax Adjustments. Jacques Bourgeois and Ahmed Abdel Latif were invited to speak about Intellectual Property Rights, Eco-Innovation and Technology Transfer.

Whereas Carsten Neuhoff examined the use of green border taxes, compensating for less stringent carbon legislation in export countries, from an economic point of view. Joëlle de Sépibus analysed the compatibility of green border taxes with WTO law. She concluded that the question is unsettled but that the Appellate Body of the WTO might well consider them acceptable under certain circumstances. Joëlle de Sépibus, however, drew attention to the difficulty of calculating an appropriate green border tax compensating for the burden incurred by operators under the European Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS).