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          Biofuels Subsidies and The Law of the WTO (English)
          Report by Harmer, Toni/ICTSD, 2009, 50 pages
          Categories: Trade and Environment, WTO Issues/Multilateral Trading System

          This paper reviews biofuel measures that are commonly used in major producing countries against WTO subsidies disciplines. These measures are found in a range of laws and policies relating to energy, the environment and agriculture. There is little evidence that domestic policymakers have taken into account WTO disciplines when crafting these measures. This paper identifies a number of issues for policymakers to consider, including the following: - WTO subsidy disciplines do not prohibit all subsidies or support to biofuels. Rather, the WTO rules concern themselves with subsidies that have a trade-distorting effect. - Although often cited in discussions about the WTO and biofuel subsidies, the green box provisions of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) do not provide a broad category sheltering measures on the basis that they offer some environmental benefits. To qualify as green box support, specific requirements must be met. For example, payments under environmental programmes must be limited to the costs of compliance with the programme.