U.S. undermines Indias solar program at WTO
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The World Trade Organization has upheld the United States’ challenge against India’s solar power program. The WTO ruled that the program violates global trade rules by imposing local content requirements for solar cells and solar modules, and by giving advantage to local manufacturers with incentive policies in the form of subsidies. The U.S. filed the complaint with the WTO in February 2014, claiming that India’s domestic content requirements discriminate against U.S. solar exports. An official from the Indian commerce ministry has told reporters the country plans to appeal the decision.
This ruling is the latest example of the Obama administration’s readiness to use trade levers to undermine efforts by other countries to combat climate change. Other instances include:
1) The U.S. pressuring the EU to weaken its Fuel Quality Directive.
2) The U.S. pressuring Korea to weaken its fuel efficiency standard.
3) The U.S. challenging China’s domestic incentive program for wind at the WTO.
4) The U.S. supporting the EU’s suit against a Canadian feed-in tariff program at the WTO.
Friends of the Earth’s Climate and Energy Campaigner Luisa Abbott Galvao issued the following statement in response to the ruling:
The United States’ attack on India’s solar program sends the signal to the world that the U.S. will only accept climate action if our corporations can capitalize on the crisis. It is not enough that we stockpiled wealth by poisoning the world with our fossil fuels. While the world’s most vulnerable populations suffer from the impacts of climate chaos and struggle with unmet energy needs, the U.S. is content to monopolize not only most of the world’s carbon space, but its wealth, too. The Obama administration continues to exhibit climate colonialism.