Ministers and senior officials from the 18 participants in the Environmental Goods Agreement (representing 46 WTO members) met in Geneva this weekend to work towards liberalizing trade on a range of important environmental goods. Constructive talks were held and progress was made, but participants were not in a position to close the existing gaps at this point. The intensive discussions set the stage for further talks in the near future.
The 18 participants representing 46 WTO members account for most of the global trade in environmental goods. Since January 2014, they have been engaged in negotiations to slash duties on products used in a variety of environmentally-related functions including: generating clean and renewable energy; improving energy and resource efficiency; reducing air, water and soil pollution; managing solid and hazardous waste; noise abatement; and monitoring environmental quality.
The EGA participants are: Australia; Canada; China; Costa Rica; the European Union (representing Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom); Hong Kong, China; Iceland; Israel; Japan; Korea; New Zealand; Norway; Singapore; Switzerland; Liechtenstein; Chinese Taipei; Turkey; and the United States.