The 2001 Doha Ministerial Declaration instructs members to negotiate on
the reduction or, as appropriate, elimination of tariff and non-tariff
barriers on environmental goods and services. It has been emphasized that
these negotiations should aim at achieving sustainable development by
creating a triple win situation for trade, the environment and development.
First, the negotiations
can facilitate trade through the reduction or elimination of tariff
and non tariff barriers (NTBs). Domestic purchasers, including
business and governments at all levels, will be able to acquire
environmental technologies at lower costs. In addition, liberalizing
trade in environmental goods will encourage the use of environmental
technologies, which can in turn stimulate innovation and technology
The negotiations can also
benefit the environment by improving countries’ ability to obtain
high quality environmental goods. This can directly improve the
quality of life for citizens in all countries by providing a cleaner
environment and better access to safe water, sanitation or clean
energy. In addition, the use of environmental goods can reduce
harmful side-effects of various activities (what economists call
“negative externalities”) that damage the environment and are
hazardous to human health and can help make the use of energy
significantly more efficient.
liberalization of trade in environmental goods and services can be
beneficial for development by assisting developing countries in
obtaining the tools needed to address key environmental priorities
as part of their on going development strategies.
Goods and services
Trade in environmental services is closely linked with trade in goods, since the provision of those services often relies on the use of related goods.
For instance, wastewater management includes the removal, treatment and disposal of household, commercial and industrial sewage and other waste water. These services require in most cases the use of goods, such as waste pipes, sewers and drains, cesspools or septic tanks, etc.