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Articles

WTO and Renewable Energy: Lessons from the Case Law

‘WTO and Renewable Energy: Lessons from the Case Law’, Journal of World Trade 49(6), 2015

Authors: Paolo Farah, Elena Cima

Authors Paolo Farah of West Virginia University and Elena Cima, PhD candidate at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, examine and outline the details of WTO cases within the renewable energy sector which address the issue of what constitutes a government subsidy subject to the WTO’s subsidies discipline under the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (ASCM). A measure may be a government subsidy if a financial contribution is provided and confers a benefit to a recipient. These two conditions are described and examined by the authors. Subsequently, the authors consider whether government subsidies pertaining to the renewable energy sector should be permitted, and argue that relevant WTO agreements do not give due consideration to the particular issues faced by renewable energy consumers, or the importance of their cause. It is argued that the provisions of WTO agreements should be interpreted flexibly to optimally promote the development and protection of the environment.