Ontario can overcome “regrettable” WTO ruling on Green Energy Act: study

November 21, 2013

OTTAWA—The recent World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling that the Ontario Green Energy Act’s local content requirements conflict with international trade rules is based on an overly restrictive interpretation, concludes a new study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). 

The study, by CCPA trade policy analyst Scott Sinclair, explores options for Ontario to comply with the ruling while preserving the vital job creation component of the Act.

“It is a regrettable decision, especially in light of the urgent need to curb greenhouse gas emissions,” says Sinclair. “Despite this disappointing ruling, Ontario can still link the necessary transition to a low-carbon future with the creation of clean energy jobs.”

As the study explains: “Public procurement remains the most straightforward option for Ontario to achieve its complementary renewable energy and economic development goals.  In the case of renewable energy contracts, where a public entity acquires the genera­tion equipment, government would still be free under WTO rules to stipulate that any portion of that equipment be manufactured in Ontario.”

The study also stresses that it is essential for Ontario to fully safeguard its existing policy flexibility over re­newable energy procurement under the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and future trade agreements.


Saving the Green Economy: Ontario’s Green Energy Act and the WTO is available on the CCPA website: http://policyalternatives.ca

For more information contact Kerri-Anne Finn, CCPA Senior Communications Officer, at 613-563-1341 x306.