In 2007, in Sydney, we made a commitment to avoid barriers to trade and investment in pursuit of clean and sustainable development, and additionally launched an action agenda including promotion of environmental goods and services as a way to reduce trade barriers in this area. In 2009, we further enhanced this work by endorsing the APEC Work Programme on Environmental Goods and Services designed to help APEC reach agreement on actions to support sustainable growth in the region, advance work to increase utilization and dissemination of EGS, reduce existing barriers and refrain from introducing new barriers to trade and investment in EGS, and enhance capabilities of economies to develop their EGS sectors.
In 2011, we are now ready to take the concrete steps necessary to achieve these past commitments, and to make green growth a reality in all of our economies. Current estimates suggest that tens of trillions of dollars of investment will be required in the coming years to meet our clean energy, clean air, sanitation and other environmental goals. Ensuring that we can meet these goals at the lowest cost, utilizing the latest technologies, while also creating new, green jobs will be a significant challenge. In order to meet this challenge, we will benefit from open markets and enhanced environmental technology dissemination. Therefore, we agree to undertake the following actions to promote trade and investment in environmental goods and services:
• In 2012, economies will work to develop an APEC list of environmental goods that directly and positively contribute to our green growth and sustainable development objectives, on which we are resolved to reduce by the end of 2015 our applied tariff rates to 5% or less, taking into account economies’ economic circumstances, without prejudice to APEC economies’ positions in the WTO.
• Eliminate, consistent with our WTO obligations, existing local content requirements that distort environmental goods and services trade in the region by the end of 2012, and refrain from adopting new ones, including as part of any future domestic clean energy policy.
• Ensure that all government support and incentive programs aimed at promoting environmental goods and services are transparent and consistent with economies’ WTO obligations.
• Ensure that all government procurement policies pertaining to environmental goods and services are transparent, consistent with the 1999 APEC Non-Binding Principles on Government Procurement.
• Promote regulatory coherence and cooperation in areas affecting environmental goods, including by better aligning approaches to standards and conformance in the environmental goods sector.
• Affirm our commitment to pursue liberalization of environmental goods and services in the World Trade Organization (WTO), including by exploring creative and innovative solutions to advance the Doha mandate to reduce and, as appropriate, eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers to these goods and services.
• Pursue progressive liberalization of trade in environmental goods and services in our Free Trade Agreements.
We instruct officials to undertake capacity-building activities relevant to implementing these actions, including exchanging views, experiences, and best practices to promote EGS trade and investment.