Recent green policies – limited environmental benefits and distorted imports: What should trade policymakers do?
Climate change mitigation and adaptation actions have high priority in multilateral and unilateral policy agendas of governments around the globe (see, for example, Wermelinger and Barnes, 2010). This trend was not stopped by the recent global economic crisis and the succeeding period marked by increasing market uncertainties. Governments intervened to help and save domestic industries with the introduction of bailouts, export subsidies, local content requirements and green investment incentives, among others. Many of these state actions involve some clause as to climate mitigation or energy efficiency/conservation objectives. The recently published Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2011 (ESCAP, 2011) provides an overview of “green” state measures introduced worldwide since November 2008.