Oregon Department of Transportation / CC BY 2.0

Secret trade negotiations in Geneva could outlaw public subsidies for renewable energy across the world, undermining climate talks in Paris that aim to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The Guardian economics correspondent Phillip Inman reports:

The Geneva summit involving 22 countries including the US, Mexico, Australia and the 28 EU member states, aim to create a “level playing field”, with the possible consequence that fracking companies could dispute subsidies for solar or wind power.

Unions and anti-poverty campaigners said the implications for developing world economies that want to promote investment in renewable energy would prove disastrous.

According to leaked documents, a draft chapter of the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) would, if adopted, force governments to accept “technological neutrality”. Disputes over subsidies to renewables would be resolved in a tribunal system outside national government control.

“This chapter shall apply measures affecting trade in energy related services, irrespective of the energy source dealt with, technology used, whether the energy source is renewable or non-renewable, and whether the service is supplied onshore or offshore,” says the draft obtained by WikiLeaks.

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.


If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.