WTO ruling against Paris pact: Greenpeace backs India

“The WTO ruling is a setback to India’s renewable energy ambitions”

February 27, 2016 04:50 pm | Updated September 02, 2016 05:56 pm IST - New Delhi:

Supporting India’s decision to challenge the WTO ruling which held the government’s power purchase agreements with solar firms as “inconsistent”, Greenpeace today said the ruling “violates” the spirit of the Paris climate change agreement.

Ruling against India, the WTO recently had said India’s power purchase agreements with solar firms were ‘inconsistent’ with international norms — a matter in which the US had filed a complaint before the global trade body alleging discrimination against American firms.

Greenpeace India and Greenpeace USA have criticised the ruling and expressed support to the Indian government’s decision to go for an appeal against it.

“India’s setting of Domestic Content Requirement (DCR) was based on a worthy core principle — increasing economic opportunities and creating thousands of green jobs while taking critically important steps in the global fight against climate change.

“It is ridiculous that the WTO does not recognise this principle and points to the danger to developing countries that such international trade regimes pose,” said Pujarini Sen, campaigner, Greenpeace India.

“The WTO ruling — and the US decision to pursue it — is a setback to India’s renewable energy ambitions. By challenging this decision, the Indian government is demonstrating commitment to India’s fledgling solar manufacturing sector, which needs initial support to enable it to compete with the price of imported products and to its own roadmap for a green economy solution to global climate change,” Sen said.

The US had dragged India to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on this issue in 2014, alleging that the clause relating to domestic content requirement (DCR) in the country’s solar power mission were discriminatory in nature and “nullified” benefits accruing to American solar power developers.

The ruling was a blow to India which has announced a target of 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022, of which 100 GW will be realised through the National Solar Mission.

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