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New Zealand spearheads efforts to refresh APEC’s environmental goods list

Solar panels, New Zealand.

30 August 2021

Work to refresh APEC’s List of Environmental Goods is an important sustainability goal of New Zealand’s APEC 2021 host year.

As the world’s only internationally agreed list of its kind, the work being done by officials to update it during New Zealand’s APEC host year helps widen international efforts to grow and incentivise the trade of environmentally-friendly goods and services.

Originally agreed in 2012, the APEC List of Environmental Goods covers 54 environmentally-friendly products that positively contribute to green growth and sustainable development.

The list was agreed together with a commitment by all 21 APEC member economies to reduce import duties on these products to 5% or less.

It includes a variety of products, from bamboo flooring and boiler parts to water filters and solar energy goods. The costs to trade these goods have been reduced over time thanks to member economies’ implementation of the 2012 commitment. This in turn helps the APEC-region’s businesses and communities access environmentally friendly technologies and products.

APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade in June stressed the need “to take concrete steps that build on this legacy, to further APEC’s contribution to addressing the most serious environmental challenges”. 

Ministers agreed to initiate efforts to complete a technical update of the list this year, a process that New Zealand has been facilitating.

This lays the groundwork for further collaboration in this area between APEC member economies, including the potential to expand the list in future.

By building upon the success of the original list, these efforts not only support the APEC region’s transition to a low-emissions future, but it also demonstrates how trade policies can contribute to global climate action and environmental work in other international organisations, including the World Trade Organization.