Research Handbooks in International Law series
Edited by Kim Talus
Chapter 11: The WTO agreements and energy
The discussions about how World Trade Organization (WTO) rules regulate energy trade have become very frequent over the past few years due to two factors. Firstly, the implications of energy use on the environment and climate change have triggered discussions on a national level on possible policies that affect trade in certain types of energy and energy equipment as well as energy intensive products. Secondly, the accession of Saudi Arabia and Russia and negotiations on accession of such important energy producing states as Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Iran and Algeria raised the issue of how these countries' energy policies could be affected by the WTO rules. It could be argued that WTO members even go beyond current trade rules requesting acceding countries to undertake energy-related obligations. There have been however numerous misconceptions as to what extent existing multilateral trade rules cover energy trade.
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