Subsidies in WTO Law and Energy Regulation: Some Implications for Fossil Fuels and Renewable Energy

Anna Marhold

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


    This contribution discusses WTO subsidies disciplines in the context of the energy sector. After
    laying out the relevant disciplines, it will discuss the paradox of WTO law with respect to
    subsidies towards fossil fuels vis-à-vis those towards renewable energy. It is clear that subsidies
    on clean energy production and consumption are needed to correct market failures and to
    promote legitimate policy goals such as contributing to sustainable development through the
    scale up of clean energy, including expanding its trade. However, experience has shown that
    support schemes for clean energy by their nature and design make them sensitive to WTO
    dispute settlement. Much more harmful subsidies on fossil fuels, on the other hand, are
    omnipresent yet often escape being addressed in the multilateral trading system. The
    contribution will draw upon the examples of ‘energy dual pricing’ and Feed-In Tariffs (FITs).
    It will argue that while it may be difficult to tackle fossil fuels subsidies in the WTO forum,
    more efforts are needed to (re)legalise environmental subsidies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationL Hancher, A De Hauteclocque and FM Salerno (eds), State Aid in the Energy Sector, Florence School of Regulation (FSR)
    PublisherHart Publishing
    Number of pages25
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2018


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