Diverse group of key actors to endorse sustainable energy trade action at COP18

28 November 2012

DOHA, QATAR - A diverse group of organisations attending UNFCCC COP 18 are creating an initiative aimed at reducing trade barriers to boost access to energy and help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. The Sustainable Energy Trade Initiative (SETI) Alliance will be launched by the International Centre of Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) on 30 November in Doha, Qatar, at an event co-sponsored by the Green Growth Action Alliance and the World Economic Forum.

The launch follows a year of rapid momentum for initiatives to foster trade in sustainable energy goods and services, notably at the G20/B20 in Mexico this summer, APEC in Vladivostok, as well as in the European Union. The need for such initiatives has been broadly endorsed by key players, such as the chair of the UN Sustainable Energy for All Initiative, the World Resources Institute and the government of China, building on work by ICTSD and its partners, including  cutting edge research and strategic dialogues and workshops.

The SETI Alliance welcomes members and partners from government, intergovernmental organisations, industry and research institutes. Governments of Denmark and Norway, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Seoul, and the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE), Washington DC are among its members, and the Alliance is further supported by the World Economic Forum, General Electric, Vestas Wind Systems and the Global Green Growth Forum.

The SETI Alliance will work toward building resilient markets by removing obstacles to trade in the technologies necessary for a scale-up of renewable energy. Such policies can bring about a wide range of benefits, such as enhancing access to energy for the rural poor, spurring green jobs, and reducing reliance on fossil fuel imports.

"We need to ensure that the technologies, goods, and services required for the scale-up of renewable energy are easily available," said Ricardo Melendez-Ortiz, the Chief Executive of ICTSD. "Creating enabling frameworks for sustainable energy at the international level will be crucial to improving access to energy, establishing energy security, and mitigating of emissions from power generation."

Pia Ohlsen-Dyhr, Denmark's Minster of Trade agrees: "If we are to combat climate change effectively, the global society must find a constructive way forward in green trade liberalisation."

Media Contact

Andrew Aziz, Tel: +41 (0)22 917 8925, aaziz@ictsd.ch.

Notes to editors:

  • The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) is a nonpartisan think tank, based in Geneva, which - by empowering stakeholders in trade policy through information, networking, dialogue, well targeted research, and capacity building - seeks to influence the international trade system such that it advances the goal of sustainable development. ictsd.iisd.org/
  • The SETI Alliance is a global partnership initiative aimed at driving a global action-focused agenda for clean energy, transport and agriculture.