It's great to go green and it's laudable to go local. But don't you dare try to do both at once.
That's the message the World Trade Organization sent this week went it ruled -- again -- that Ontario’s Green Energy Act illegally discriminated against international renewable energy companies. Similar green jobs programs in other countries might also have to be disbanded following the ruling.
The Green Energy Act aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while encouraging energy conservation and fostering a jobs-rich renewable energy sector. Under the controversial elements of the act, electricity suppliers could charge premium prices for clean energy, but only if they produced that electricity using a certain amount of locally manufactured equipment like solar panels.
The European Union and Japan protested to the international trade body, claiming that the program illegally discriminated against their manufacturers. The WTO sided with the E.U. and Japan in a November ruling. Ontario appealed against that ruling, and on Monday the WTO rejected the appeal [PDF] while making some minor tweaks to its earlier ruling. From the Toronto Star: