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TRADE AND ENVIRONMENT: 29 April 2013, GENEVA

Workshop on the role of intergovernmental agreements in energy policy

Recent decades have brought unprecedented challenges with respect to energy trade, including supply disruptions, an increase in demand and the shift of consumption to emerging markets, and price fluctuations. Moreover, production, distribution and use of conventional energy types such as fossil fuels have created concerns related to their negative impact on climate change.

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There are calls to switch to cleaner methods of production and energy efficiency. Given the increased volumes of energy materials and products traded across borders, the above challenges provide a new incentive to revisit the current institutional structure of energy governance, which consists of multilateral, plurilateral, regional, and bilateral treaties covering differing and sometimes overlapping spheres of energy trade and investment.

In order to create predictability in the sector, enforceable multilateral rules are of increasing importance. Such rules can best ensure the stability and transparency required in conditions of increasing reliance on internationally traded energy and the need for adequate investment.

The rules of the multilateral system embodied in WTO in the past have been perceived by some to leave the energy sector outside the scope of the WTO. There is however no doubt that these general rules cover trade in energy. The WTO framework contains rules essential for the regulation of energy trade relations, such as rules on import/export restrictions, transit, subsidies, and technical regulations. The WTO framework importantly also provides for enforcement of these rules through a binding dispute settlement. The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) - the only inter-regional multilateral treaty specific to energy - is based on the WTO rules. The ECT applies those rules specifically to energy trade and also among Energy Charter Treaty states which are outside the WTO. The Energy Charter Treaty contains valuable additions to the WTO framework on transit and investment protection in the energy sector as well as a framework for energy efficiency.

 

OBJECTIVE

The aim of the Workshop is to shed light on the application of existing international rules embodied in WTO and the ECT to trade and investment in energy. The Workshop is also aimed at raising awareness of current challenges the energy sector faces and the implications of such challenges for the regulatory framework. More specifically, the discussion will focus on the interaction of the Energy Charter Treaty and the World Trade Organization Agreements.

The hosting entities are the World Trade Organization and the Energy Charter (Chairman of the Energy Charter Conference Ambassador Selim Kuneralp (Turkey) and Secretary General Ambassador U. Rusnák). Moderator is Ambassador Roderick Abbott.

The press conference of H.E. Ambassador Selim Kuneralp and Ambassador Urban Rusnák will take place in Room S3 of the WTO at 13.00.

 

REGISTRATION

Participation in this event is free of charge. Participants are requested to register with Mrs. Antigoni Daifotis at the Energy Charter Secretariat by sending an e-mail (antigoni.daifotis@encharter.org), or a fax at +32 2 775 98 42, no later than 19 April. Those participants who do not have a badge for regular access to the WTO building will be requested to present an ID with a photograph for recuperation of their badge.

For questions related to substance, programme and speakers please contact Dr. Yulia Selivanova (selivanova@encharter.org, tel. +32 2 775 98 49).

 

PROGRAMME

Monday, 29 April 2013

9:00 — 10:00

Registration


Moderator of the workshop is Ambassador Roderick Abbott

 

10:00 — 10:30

Opening Session

 
 

10:30 — 11:50

Session 1 — Setting the Scene: International Regulation of Energy Trade

  • Application of WTO rules to regulation of energy trade
    Professor Dr. Gabrielle Marceau, Counsellor, Legal Affairs Division, World Trade Organization

  • Energy Charter Treaty: a special framework for energy trade and investment
    Steivan Defilla, Director, Energy Charter Secretariat

  • Principles of Rules on Trade and Investment for Energy
    Einari Kisel, Senior Fellow, World Energy Council

  • Audio: Session 1

 

Discussion, questions and answers
 
  12:05 – 13:30

Session 2 — Current Challenges for International Regulation of Trade in Energy: Transport and Transit

  • Energy transportation under the GATS
    Mireille Cossy, Counsellor, Services Division, World Trade Organization

  • Regulation of energy transit by international rules: energy exporting country’s perspective
    Maxim Medvedkov, Director of Department of Trade Negotiations, Ministry of Economic Development, Russian Federation

  • Energy transit under Article V of the GATT
    Lothar Ehring, European Commission

  • Challenges for energy transit regulation: is specialised approach necessary?
    Dr. Yulia Selivanova, Trade Expert, Energy Charter Secretariat

  • Audio: Session 2

 

Discussion, questions and answers

 
 

15:00 — 16:20

 

Session 3 — Investment Rules for Energy: Multilateral and Bilateral Approaches

  • Howard Chase, Director of Government Affairs, Dow Europe, Chairman of the Energy Charter’s Industry Advisory Panel

  • Foreign direct investments in the energy sector: challenges for international investment agreements negotiators,
    Dr. Joachim Karl, Chief, Policy Research Section, Division on Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD

  • Investment provisions of the Energy Charter
    Dr. Matteo Barra, Expert, Energy Charter Secretariat

  • Audio: Session 3

 

Discussion, questions and answers

    Discussants: Peter Milthorp, Counsellor, Trade Policies Review Division, World Trade Organization; Roberto Rios Herran, Partner, law firm Appleton Luff

 

 
  16:35 – 18:10

Session 4 — Adaptation of Current Rules to New Challenges: Mitigation of Climate Change and Development of Sustainable Energy

  • Towards a Framework Agreement on Energy
    Professor Dr. Thomas Cottier, Managing Director of the World Trade Institute and the Institute of European and International Economic Law

  • Domestic incentive measures for renewable energies: trade effects
    Dale Andrew, Head, Environment Division, Trade and Agriculture Directorate, OECD

  • Role of the multilateral trading system in promoting coherence between trade and climate agendas
    Ludivine Tamiotti, Counsellor, Trade and Environment Division, World Trade Organization

  • Renewable Electricity in the Arab Region: the Prospects of Trading?
    Maged Mahmoud, Technical Expert, Regional Centre for Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency in Cairo (RCREEE)

  • Audio: Session 4

     

Discussion, questions and answers

    Discussant: Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz, co-founder and CEO, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development

     

 
 

18:10 — 18:20

Concluding remarks
  • H.E. Selim Kuneralp, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the WTO, Chairman of the Energy Charter Conference
    Audio: Concluding remarks
 
 
   

 


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