Environmental Groups Challenge U.S. on Solar

Greenpeace, the Sierra Club and other U.S. environmental groups have submitted an open letter to Ambassador Demetrios Marantis, arguing that the U.S. government should drop its planned World Trade Organisation (“WTO”) challenge of Indian solar subsidies under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission programme.

They take the view that promoting India’s solar industry is essential to limiting the effects of climate change and far outweighs the commercial interests of the U.S. solar industry. Interestingly, the letter goes on to argue that:

Domestic content rules have been a vital policy tool used to foster, nurture, and grow new industries throughout history and can be used today to build and support renewable energy industries. Particularly in the context of the substantial challenges posed by climate change – most recently highlighted by President Obama in his inaugural and State of the Union addresses – it is critical that countries have every tool at their disposal to transition to clean renewable sources of energy, such as wind and solar power.

The letter can be found here.

According to a prior statement by the Office of the United States Trade Representative:

the United States strongly supports the rapid deployment of solar energy around the world, including with India. Unfortunately, India’s discriminatory policies in its national solar program detract from that successful cooperation, raise the cost of clean energy, and undermine progress toward our shared objective

A previous post on domestic content issues and WTO rulings in connection with Ontario’s Feed-In Tariff Program can be found here.

Stay tuned for further updates.

domestic content India Solar Energy United States of America World Trade Organisation WTO

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