Research Handbook on Environment, Health and the WTO
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Research Handbook on Environment, Health and the WTO

Edited by Geert Van Calster and Denise Prévost

This Handbook provides state-of-the-art analysis by leading authors on the links between the international trade regime and health and environment concerns – concerns that make up an increasing proportion of WTO dispute settlement. Research Handbook on Environment, Health and the WTO surveys fields as diverse as climate change mitigation, non-communicable diseases, nanotechnology and public health care. The volume brings to the fore the debates and complexities surrounding these issues and their implications for the international trading system.
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Chapter 17: Subsidies for emissions mitigation under WTO law

Luca Rubini


Since almost two-thirds of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) are energy related, any strategy to mitigate GHGs emissions needs to focus on energy production and use. Policy action should take various and simultaneous directions. On the one hand, the dependency of modern society on heavily polluting, and subsidized, fossil fuels should be tackled. It is thus commonly noted how the phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies is one of the best steps towards GHGs emissions mitigation. On the other hand, the possibility of reducing and eventually replacing this dependency relies on increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy production and use. Other supplementary emission abatement options, like carbon capture and storage (CCS), should also be explored. Any effective and rational energy and environmental strategy, with the aim to mitigate climate change, is thus centered around a more efficient use of low-carbon energy.

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