Paris Needs Geneva, and Vice Versa

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This paper proposes and seeks to explain how the launching of a new negotiation on trade in carbon‐reduction‐related goods and services in Geneva could help to restore the effective market penetration of the Paris Agreement mechanisms, and how the subsequent implementation of the Paris Agreement can revitalize the so‐called ‘paralyzed WTO‘ at Geneva. It suggests that new negotiations be dedicated to the liberalization of trade in goods that relate closely to greenhouse‐gas reduction. Drawing on experiences from the stalled Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) negotiations, this narrowing of the scope of the talks might help establish a clear theme, thus avoiding potential conflicts of interest among the negotiating parties. Moreover, if the market penetration of green technologies is to be advanced effectively, negotiations must cover trade in related services (e.g. systems engineering) as well. Inclusion of services can also mitigate the ‘critical mass’ concerns inherent in the goods‐only context. Improving market access to government procurements and facilitating technology transfer in carbon‐reduction sectors will help to spread green technologies globally, and could be the topic of the new framework. In the end, the paper envisages a scenario of high participation and offers a possible approach to the initiation of new talks.