Joint Statement Calls for World Trade Organization Environmental Goods Agreement

Global Business Supports an Ambitious and Rapid Conclusion to an Environmental Goods Agreement at the World Trade Organization

In a joint statement, 31 business groups from around the world have released a joint statement urging governments to make the swift negotiation of an ambitious international agreement to eliminate tariffs on a broad range of environmental goods a priority.

The joint statement supports the striking of an Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) under the World Trade Organization (WTO) to reduce tariffs on a range of environmental goods.

The EGA would be a plurilateral agreement with 13 other WTO members, with negotiations to commence at WTO this month.

The EGA is aimed at increasing global trade in environmental goods and removing tariffs on an initial 54 environmental goods. The EGA would allow for reduced trade barriers as the tariffs are often as high as 35 per cent.

The affordability of these goods would also improve the quality of life for many by providing a cleaner environment and better access to safe water, sanitation and energy.

Australia’s environmental goods exports are estimated at $1.3 billion annually, and demand for such goods are rising fast.

The Business Council of Australia endorses an EGA to help give Australian industries better access to this fast-growing global sector.