Brussels, 29 July 2013: WWF cautiously welcomes the agreement reached last Saturday by the European Union and China to curb EU imports of solar panels from China in exchange for exempting the shipments from punitive tariffs. The EU had previously announced on 4 June that it would impose tariffs of 47.6% on Chinese solar panels from 6 August, in an effort to protect European producers. This deal should end the largest- ever trade conflict between China and the EU.
WWF has not yet seen the final agreement but was assured by both negotiating parties that it will not hamper clean renewable and solar energy growth, nor will it endanger sustainable jobs creation in the entire supply chain of the solar industry in both the EU and China. Both regions are the largest investors in clean renewables, mainly solar and wind power.
Globally, the EU is leading on solar power deployment and has benefitted from manufacturing cost reductions in recent years. However, China adopted a new domestic solar target a few days ago that is likely to boost solar power installations beyond the European level by 2020.
Stephan Singer, Director of Global Energy Policy at WWF said:
"We welcome the amicable solution found in the EU-China solar panel case. A trade war between both regions on clean renewable energy technologies is the last thing the world needed."
"In this time of record fossil fuel subsidies and carbon pollution, a decision by the EU to punish cheap Chinese solar panel imports would have meant a drastic increase in solar power costs to the consumer, a decline in solar PV installations, substantial job losses in the EU, and an increase in carbon pollution."
Dr Stephan Singer
Director of Global Energy Policy
Phone:+32 2 743 88 17
Mobile:+32 4 96 550 709
Communication and Media Officer
WWF European Policy Office
Phone: +32 2 743 88 06 |
Mobile: + 32 4 94 03 20 27