The Resource EU biofuels policy - raising the questions of WTO compatibility

EU biofuels policy - raising the questions of WTO compatibility

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EU biofuels policy - raising the questions of WTO compatibility
Title
EU biofuels policy - raising the questions of WTO compatibility
Creator
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
Governments intervene in the energy sector using a variety of measures to pursue a range of objectives, from security of supply and energy efficiency to environmental protection. Recent concerns about the impact of fossil fuels on climate change have resulted in the increasing promotion of biofuels as an alternative to oil. While worries exist with regard to the environmental impact of biofuel production in ecologically sensitive areas, it has been argued that with an effective regulatory framework to promote sustainable production, biofuels could provide a mechanism to provide energy security in an environmentally positive way. The interest of the European Union (EU) in the promotion of biofuels production is a relatively recent phenomenon and it is now the world's largest producer of biodiesel and the fourth largest producer of bioethanol. At its most basic level, the promotion of biofuels as an alternative to fossil fuels is part of a wider EU effort to support the use of renewable energy. The promotion of renewable energy is traceable to a number of goals, a central one of which is ensuring security of energy supply. Other policy goals supported by the promotion of renewable energies include reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with climate change, decreasing dependence upon imported oil, the promotion of technological development as well as regional and rural development and employment. This paper examines the extent to which EU Biofuels Policy may be constrained by and treated under current WTO disciplines. The discussion commences by examining the current EU policy regarding the promotion of biofuels as an alternative to fossil fuels before turning to the more pertinent question of how the rules of the WTO interplay with this policy. In this regard, particular emphasis has been placed on the WTO rules on subsidies and non-discrimination. Consideration of the latter is especially important given the recent introduction of "sustainability criteria" into EU Biofuels Policy as part of its response to the problems posed by climate change. The final section offers some tentative conclusions on the likely compliance of the EU's Biofuels Policy with WTO legal disciplines
Citation source
In: The international and comparative law quarterly. - London. - Vol. 60, Part 3 (July 2011) ; p. 713-736
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
  • Switzer, S
  • McMahon, J.A
Geographic coverage
International
Language note
English
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • WTO
  • environmental incentive
  • energy industry
Label
EU biofuels policy - raising the questions of WTO compatibility
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Publication
Label
EU biofuels policy - raising the questions of WTO compatibility
Publication

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