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NEWS: WTO rules against Ontario’s Green Energy Act

CBC reports this hour, “The World Trade Organization’s appeal body has upheld complaints from the EU and Japan that Ontario’s program to promote green energy use violates international trade rules. The WTO’s appellate body confirmed the Ontario program to encourage the development of wind and solar power discriminates against foreign firms because Ontario’s Green Energy Act mandates that a certain percentage of solar and wind components be domestically made. …The WTO ruled last December that Ontario’s program discriminated against imports and was inconsistent with WTO rules. Canada appealed that ruling in February. The WTO’s appellate body today dismissed that appeal. …The EU says the appeal body’s report will be formally adopted by the WTO within 30 days and Canada would then propose how it would comply with the ruling.”

“Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli, in comments emailed to CBC News, said he was ‘reviewing the ruling in consultation with the federal government. I’ll let that process continue before we determine our next steps’. …The federal government said it would work with the province to address the ruling’s implications.”

In December 2012, Council of Canadians trade campaigner Stuart Trew wrote, “The Council of Canadians is one of seven environmental, labour and student groups that filed a joint amicus curiae (friend of the court) submission to the WTO dispute settlement panel hearing the European and Japanese joint case against the Green Energy Act. In part, we argued that the obligation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions cannot, under international law, be relegated to secondary status to the goals of trade liberalization. To the contrary, by signing and ratifying the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, Canada, the EU and Japan have each declared that the pursuit of ecological security in the face of potentially catastrophic climate change is the paramount obligation.”

The Canadian Press now reports, “The Council of Canadians is urging Ontario to defy a World Trade Organization ruling against the Green Energy Act. The WTO has upheld a previous ruling that local content quotas in the Green Energy Act violate global trade rules. The council is encouraging the province to stand by its renewable energy policy and, if necessary, ignore the WTO decision in the interests of sustainable development. Spokesman Stuart Trew says combining job creation and environmental priorities is the definition of sustainable development.”

For more, please read:
WTO Challenge to Green Energy Act (Japan, EU vs Canada)
Canada, EU, Japan make first arguments in appeal of WTO decision against Green Energy Act
Canada appeals WTO decision against Ontario’s Green Energy Act
NEWS: Trew says WTO inviting backlash with ruling on Ontario green energy program
Ontarians disapprove of WTO decision against Green Energy Act: poll
Unions and environmental groups denounce preliminary WTO ruling against Ontario renewable energy policy
Council of Canadians joins environmental, labour and civil society groups in defending Ontario’s Green Energy Act from WTO challenge