India has been told that it cannot go ahead as planned with its ambitious plan for a huge expansion of its renewable energy sector, because it seeks to provide work for Indian people. The case against India was brought by the US.
The ruling, by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), says India’s National Solar Mission—which would create local jobs, while bringing electricity to millions of people—must be changed because it includes a domestic content clause requiring part of the solar cells to be produced nationally.
What a difference two months make. On 12 December last year, US President Barack Obama praised the Paris Agreement on tackling climate change, just hours after it was finally concluded. “We’ve shown what’s possible when the world stands as one,” he said, adding that the agreement “represents the best chance we have to save the one planet that we’ve got”.
The WTO says that its dispute settlement panel “handed the US a clear-cut victory . . . when it found that local content requirements India imposed on private solar power producers in a massive solar project violated trade rules, although the two sides are still discussing a potential settlement to the dispute”.
One official of India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy told India Climate Dialogue that the ruling might make the country’s solar plan more expensive, and would definitely hit domestic manufacturing and, consequently, the possibility of creating jobs in the sector.That's not all:
“In the last three months alone, Ecuador was ordered to pay $1billion for cancelling a petrol contract under a Bilateral Investment Treaty . . . Governments must be free to implement sound climate policy.
“This ruling shows the dangers posed by more wide-ranging trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which will liberalise trade in dirty fossil fuels and restrict government options even further.”Truthdig
The United States Has Blocked a Plan by India to Expand Solar Power and Create Local Jobs
Alex Kirby | Climate News Network