Trade and Environment Newsletter: Issue 21, June 2013

Solar panel trade pact will hurt trade, green growth

The EU, US and China are reportedly considering negotiating a deal to settle a trade dispute over low cost imports of solar panels. This comes amid rising tension over E.U. and U.S. tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels. The US imposed “anti dumping” tariffs of 30 percent last year. The E.U. recently imposed provisional duties, which could rise as high as 68 percent later in the year. Continue reading

Trade and Environment Newsletter: Issue 18, March 2013

US blending credit for alternative fuels encourages palm oil imports

A US blending tax credit for biofuels could see palm biodiesel exports to the US from South East Asia increase markedly. At $1 a gallon, or $300 per tonne, the credit would reportedly will make palm oil derived biodiesel competitive with petroleum diesel in the US. Palm oil prices are currently cheaper than US soyoil mainly due to high inventories in major producers Malaysia and Indonesia. Continue reading

Trade and Environment Newsletter: Issue 17, February 2013

Transatlantic trade deal announced– the next ‘green FTA’?

After several months of talking, the US has announced its intention to begin negotiations on a free trade agreement with the EU. In his State of the Union address on February 12, President Obama announced that the Administration plans to notify Congress of its intent to launch negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the EU. Continue reading

World Growth Press Release: €270 million EU-UK ‘green aid’ program will destroy jobs in developing countries and break international trade laws

International anti-poverty group World Growth says a EU-UK aid program to stop so-called illegal logging in developing countries will cause job losses across Africa and Asia, and is likely to break international trade laws. Continue reading

World Growth in the media – Economic situation in EU becomes one of the most widely discussed topics of Davos forum

PenzaNews, 4 February 2013

World Growth Ambassador Alan Oxley provided expert commentary to PenzaNews on the European Crisis and the ability of the World Economic Forum’s participants to understand the issues at hand.

“The Head of the Swiss based bank UBS warned about the complacency over the debt crisis in Europe. The perspective in the rest of the world is that only two options are realistic in Europe – a huge destruction of wealth, the like of which has not been seen for 70 years, or spreading the burden of the debt workout across the people of Europe, flattening growth for a decade or more. The mood at Davos seems to suggest this is not fully understood,” said Ambassador Oxley.

Read the full story here.

Revising the Equator Principles: Why Banks should not become the New Sustainability Regulators of Emerging Markets

On 13 August 2012 a draft of the updated Equator Principles (EP) was released for stakeholder consultation and public comment. This latest revision of the EP is a marked attempt to dramatically alter the role of financial institutions in emerging markets, from financiers to sustainability regulators. Continue reading

Un-Fair Trade: Turning the tide on misguided altruism

Fairtrade (FT) represents itself as a consumer-driven long-term development strategy. It claims to support poor producers in the global south and aims to alleviate them from poverty by certifying their production processes and selling their products to consumers in the global north at a price premium. The FT movement has succeeded in convincing conscientious consumers that its labelled products are the most effective in aiding the poor. However, the extent to which the FT model brings net benefits to the poor is largely unfounded. Continue reading

New Report: Wronging Indonesia – The EU’s Bait and Switch Illegal Logging Policy

The EU is delaying implementation of a ‘Voluntary Partnership Agreement’ (VPA) with Indonesia on illegal timber exports. Indonesia has complied with EU demands at significant cost, but the delays mean Indonesia’s exporters will now have to comply with a different, more costly system of regulation. This report examines the implications.  Continue reading

Trade and Environment Newsletter Issue 12, September 2012

Eco labels as sustainability tools questioned

A recent report by IMD, Switzerland “Have EcoLabels Had Their Day” reveals that while ecolabels have been useful in increasing sustainability awareness and performance across the supply chain, business holds concerns about their credibility, their impacts on trade and their ability to transform markets to achieve more sustainable outcomes. Continue reading