So far in the negotiations, the CTE-SS discussions have mostly been focused on goods, while environmental services have been discussed in the Special Session of the Council for Trade in Services. With regard to goods, Norway has been in favour of a list-based approach. Norway was among the co-sponsors of a ‘basis for negotiations/convergence’ list, contained in document JOB(07)/54 , and made the following statement in the CTE-SS on 3 May 2007:
All member countries face major challenges with regard to the environment. From the Norwegian side, we believe that fulfilment of the Doha mandate on par 31 (iii) will result in improved access to environmental goods and services. Such improved access will be beneficial both for the environment and for economic development.
The convergence list in front of us today represents a major change, and a constructive step forward from the proponents, especially for the countries that originally presented their own lists in these negotiations. We think this is a very good base for moving the negotiations forward, we even expect it to do so. These aspects have been the main motivation for co-sponsorship.
We have studied the different proposals that on the table in this committee. We acknowledge that the different approaches taken by countries all have some merit. We have, however, concluded that the list approach will contribute most constructively to fulfilling our mandate. We believe that such an approach will give us results that provide for a more predictable situation for everyone. This applies in general to exporters and importers, but - most importantly - it applies to businesses and industries planning future investments in technologies. If industries know that they have an option to use more environmentally beneficial products and that this option comes at a lower price, it can stimulate long term planning for more sustainable solutions.
In the list presented today, considerable work has gone into eliminating products where multiple use seems to be a real problem. In other product groups, the co-sponsors of the list have sought to create ex-outs that give a clearer environmental profile. Even though the ex-outs might be futher elaborated and clarified, it is our clear view that the environmental credibility of this list has significantly improved.
Norway sees this list as a basis for negotiations. In particular, we welcome much more involvement from developing country parties. We call upon other members to define and table their export interest. In this regard, members could make use of available expertise and other assistance, as appropriate.
In the negotiations ahead of us, special and differential treatment should play a central role. We already addressed some thoughts of implementation in the non-paper in front of us. Once again, we want to highlight the importance of finding solutions, adressing the need for flexibility, with regard to, ia;. time period of implementation and exclusions for a limited number of products. Other concrete proposals that the whole membership should be engaged in, will also be welcome.
A review mechanism will be needed in order to update the list, in order to avoid a situation where new, improved products will have the disadvantage of competing with older products gaining benefits from tariff reduction/elimination. We look forward to exchange views on a possible review mechanism.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.