Leveling the Playing Field between Clean Energy and Fossil Fuel Technology Imports

Tariff and non-tariff trade barriers on solar panels and other solar value chain inputs can significantly impact the accessibility and affordability of renewable energy within Canada. It can also impact Canadian solar panel exports to the extent that other countries impose retaliatory tariffs. In contrast, Canada has exempted steel imports for the construction of liquified natural gas projects from import tariffs—a preferential support measure considered to be a fossil fuel subsidy. This uneven trade treatment favors the expansion of fossil fuel capacity over clean energy technologies. Revising trade controls on solar and fossil fuel value chain inputs can improve access to clean energy technologies, accelerating Canadian decarbonization and boosting the global solar panel industry.

Recommendations:

  • Apply a climate lens to public interest considerations in assessing trade remedies [FIN];
  • Review import and export controls on energy sector technologies to level the playing field between clean energy and fossil fuel technologies [GAC]; and
  • Support negotiations towards a global environmental goods agreement with a view to expanding access to clean energy technologies by removing trade barriers. [GAC]

Contact

Lisa Gue – lgue@davidsuzuki.org