WEC Congress | The Imperative of Trade: Accelerating the Innovation Transfer

About three quarters of the estimated productivity potential comes from catching up, only one quarter from pushing the frontier. Trilemma objectives including mitigation of greenhouse gases and lowering pollution through good technologies, enhancing energy security through smart technology solutions or delivering innovative energy solutions to rural households depend on effective technology sharing and reduction of tariff and non-tariff trade barriers. International trade agreements, such as the APEC agreement (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation), serve as leading examples in a period marked by international disputes over energy subsidies and other protectionist measures. Other regional economic and trade platforms, such as ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States), have the ambition to achieve the same. As environmental goods represent a trade market of approximately US$1 Trillion annually, a recent World Energy Council study shows that reducing barriers to trade and investment can be a powerful economic force, supporting cost effectiveness and efficient decarbonisation of the energy sector and helping countries to successfully address their energy trilemma.


  1. How can countries tackle tariffs and nontariff measures (NTMs) to accelerate the transfer of low-carbon technologies across borders?
  2. How can the APEC agreement be replicated on a regional or global level?
  3. Are local content requirements aligned with a Trilemma agenda that depends on effective deployment of best technologies?

Background Reading

Latest World Energy Perspective report on the rules of trade and investment 2016

Discussion Leader(s): Morlaye Bangoura, Comissioner, Energy and Mines, ECOWAS, Nigeria ; Ricardo Melendez-Ortiz, Chief Executive Officer, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), Switzerland ; Guillermo Bravo Mancheño, Senior Vice President, Abengoa, Spain ; David Shark, Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organisation, Switzerland
Topic: Technology frontiers