In the CTE-SS on 12 June, Norway made the following intervention with regard to a submission by India and Argentina contained in document JOB(07)/77:
The Norwegian delegation wants to thank Argentina and India for their submission in JOB document (07)77, and would like to give some preliminary comments.
We find some elements of particular interest and importance, and want in this regard to highlight the list of environmental activities that we find highly relevant for these negotiations under para 31(iii).
We would like to note that the concept of environmental activities seems to overlap with the environmental categories used in JOB(07)/54. In our view, this should be futher explored to see if there are possibilities for different approaches in this debate.
We would like to underline the importance of taking all the aspects on board and include these activities in our outcome in these negotiations.
With regard to the list of public and private entities to be submitted by members, our intuitive reaction is that this could be complicated to arrange. How are we to make sure that all interested parties, included small and medium-sized enterprises are included on an equal basis? In privatized economies, like the one in Norway, this would not be easy to arrange. Also, we are not convinced that the proposal as now formulated will facilitate sound technology choices in a more general sense, including at the household level. Also, this part of the proposal could lead to administrative burdens, both for the WTO secretariat and member countries.
Norway has through these negotiations several times underlined the importance of environmental credibility. This is of crucial importance to secure an environmentally sound outcome, and therefore we should choose the right approach to secure this in the best way.
We do recognize the importance of access to the latest technology. In that regard we want to point inter alia, to the activities carried out by the WTO secretariat, UNEP, UNCTAD, and others- that Norway is a strong supporter of. Also, we want to point to the fact that by fulfilling our mandate on reduction or, as appropriate, elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers to environmental goods will contribute to easier access to technology.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
In the CTE-SS on 1 November 2007, Norway made the following statement with regard to a submission by Brazil contained in document JOB(07/146:
The Norwegian delegation wants to take this opportunity to give some futher comments on Job document (07)146, that has already given this committee some food for thought, and important impulses to an active engagement in the futher work on this part of the mandate.
Norway has on earlier occasions called upon other members to define and table their export interest. Brazil has made an important effort with this proposal in this regard.
All member countries face major challenges with regard to environment and development. Brazil has highlighted some crucial aspects on sustainable development in developing countries. For example, that developing countries should not reproduce the patterns of energy consumption and natural resource depletion of the developed countries. From Norwegian side, we will engage in a discussion on the paper on a broad basis.
With regard to biofuels, it is of outmost importance that economic, social and environmental criteria are taken into consideration, and that sustainable standards are secured.
Criteria and standards for organic agriculture and environment are already established to a certain extent, and futher development in this direction is an interesting topic to explore futher. Norway wants to do its part in the international effort to establish relevant international guidelines and the like, and want to point to the importance of all countries taking part in this.
However, we want to emphasize that there are still issues to explore with regard to the inclusion of process and production methods criteria for classification of traded goods.
There are potential problems with regard to custom clarification. Others have also pointed to different aspects they see as problematic. On the other hand, there are challenges that have to be solved with regard to for exemple: climate change, identifying sustainable sources of energy that might prove to be difficult if we are not to take production methods into account.
Obviously, these issues have to be futher explored.
We would welcome additional information from Brazil on how the proposed standard for organically produced foods relates to the discussion on the use of PPM criteria.
We know from previous experience that request-offer procedure is time-consuming, and presents some technical challenges. We also want to emphasize the need for a marker of the environment content and result. Another concern is the transparency in these negotions, and whether or not a request-offer method will ensure that environmental goods are threated in line with the mandate in par 31 iii).
Finally, let me point to the issue of special and differential treatment should definitately play a central role, and Norway will be a part of the discussion of different solutions in this regard.
Thank you, mr. Chairman.
At the same meeting on 1 November, Norway also gave preliminary comments to a submission by Peru, contained in document JOB(07)/161:
Mr. Chairman, the Norwegian delegation would also like to thank the delegation of Peru for submitting this paper. It is a constructive contribution, and we welcome the active participation of an increasing number of Members in these negotiations.
This paper outlines Peru’s points of view on important issues like export interests, the need for clean environmental technology, global challenges for the environment, and sustainable development with particular attention to poverty reduction in indigenous communities.
With regard to the part that refers to TRIPS, and particularly para 15, we would like to point our that Norway has participated actively in this discussion in the TRIPS Council – including through our own submission, with positions close to the Peru’s on several aspects. We see this as a relevant reference, although this subject matter is treated in another committee of this House.
Mr. Chairman, the Norwegian delegation will have a closer look at the paper in our capital, and see the arguments on the inclusion of organic agriculture in conjunction with our continued study of the latest submission by Brazil. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
At an informal meeting of the CTE-SS on 30 November 2007, Norway made the following preliminary comments to a non-paper by the European Communities and the United States, contained in document JOB(07)/193:
Norway would like to welcome the US-EU proposal on paragraph 31(iii). In sum, we are very supportive. We fully share the objectives and rationale behind the proposal.
Part 1) about goods, is a constructive idea, and fully in line with the work we have carried out in this committee up to now- to try to identify goods of particular relevance to the environment.
Norway is an active supporter of liberalization of the relevant and credible environmental goods. Accordingly, the 40 items being identified by the World Bank as climate relevant should in our view definitely have tariff reductions, and be given the highest priority in our effort to liberalize trade in environmental goods and services" as we aim at a broad liberalization in line with the objectives and effort under par 31(iii) in this committee.
With regard to environmental services, Norway supports the way forward proposed in the paper, and will work constructively with adressing the climate-relevant services in a most suitable way.
Part 2): Norway would definitely want to work for ambitious and far-reaching result on environmental goods and services.
We see that the proposal of negotiation of An Environmental Technologies and Services Agreement (ETSA) could have crucial merits. On the other hand, it also rise a number of issues that we should take time to consider.
This proposal is presented on a time very relevant to the meeting in Bali on climate change. We should keep in mind, however, that the work on the climate and trade agenda will continue and be more important in the months and years to come. In this work, Norway will definitely do its part.