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Copyright (c) 2011 Georgetown International Environmental Law Review
Georgetown International Environmental Law Review

NOTE: An Inherent Conflict Between WTO Law and a Sustainable Future? Evaluating the Consistency of Canadian and Chinese Renewable Energy Policies with WTO Trade Law

Fall, 2011

Georgetown International Environmental Law Review

24 Geo. Int'l Envtl. L. Rev. 57

Author

KENINA LEE *

Excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION

Whether prompted by the desire to curb carbon emissions, create jobs, or ensure energy security, almost every nation today is involved in the green technology revolution. Recent years have seen unprecedented amounts of investment in clean energy technologies, an increase in energy legislations, and a steady shift toward the use of renewable energy and away from fossil fuels, In fact, renewable energy comprised a significant twenty-five percent of global power capacity from all sources and delivered eighteen percent of global electricity in 2009. 1 This effort toward a renewable and sustainable future is coming from both developed and developing countries alike. Developing countries actually hold more than half of global renewable power capacity. 2 The necessarily cooperative nature of curbing worldwide carbon emissions offers all countries the rare opportunity to bring about a mutually shared goal--a clean and sustainable future.

However, our path to a green future is not without challenges. Countries and governments that are doing all they can to invest in the renewable industry may be forced to slow down their efforts due to the conflicting forces of international trade law. In September 2010, Japan filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization ("WTO") against Canada for the bold steps taken by one of its provinces toward building a renewable industry: Ontario's newly enacted feed-in tariff ("FIT") program. Japan alleges that the Canadian effort to fuel its green economy is at odds with its obligations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade ("GATT") ...
 
 
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