Briefing: Environmental Goods Agreement

Launched in July 2014, the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) is being negotiated between the European Union – on behalf of its 28 member states – and 16 other members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The agreement aims to reduce tariffs on environmental goods, in order to increase their uptake in the global market.

In this briefing T&E discusses the selection of goods for the EGA list, which was undertaken in secrecy and without a definition of an environmental good or selection criteria. T&E has identified around 120 items on the list of 650 goods for which we do not see any environmental justification for lowering tariffs. Examples include products containing asbestos, aviation engines, biodiesel and the equipment to burn the fuel. T&E argues that negotiations should open up and the assessment of what is an environmental good should be conducted by recognised experts in full transparency, on the basis of a widely accepted methodology.