Green groups urge U.S. to drop solar trade case against India

WASHINGTON Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:48am IST

A man cleans panels installed at a solar plant at Meerwada village of Guna district in Madhya Pradesh June 18, 2012. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Files

A man cleans panels installed at a solar plant at Meerwada village of Guna district in Madhya Pradesh June 18, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Adnan Abidi/Files

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Environmental groups urged the United States on Wednesday to drop a challenge to India's massive solar program and said the World Trade Organization case would only hurt the growth of renewable energy resources.

The United States is taking action at the WTO over the domestic content requirements in India's program, which aims to ease chronic energy shortages in Asia's third-largest economy.

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman has said making Indian solar developers use locally made equipment discriminates against U.S. producers, in breach of WTO rules, and could hinder the spread of solar power globally by making equipment more expensive.

But green groups including the Sierra Club, Greenpeace USA and Friends of the Earth U.S. said supporting the U.S. industry should not come at the expense of India's push to cut fossil fuels and build a viable domestic renewables industry, which would in turn help global efforts to tackle climate change.

"The U.S. should not compromise the long-term growth of the solar market just so that it can achieve limited near-term gain," a coalition of 15 groups wrote in a letter to Froman.

The United States, which says that more competition in solar power will lead to higher quality products, plans to request a dispute settlement panel at the WTO on Friday, the next formal step in a dispute process which can lead to trade sanctions.

India, for its part, is investigating U.S. policies supporting solar panel makers, a signal of possible retaliation should the dispute escalate.

(Writing by Krista Hughes; Editing by Chris Reese)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Popularity Poll

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Record Highs

Record Highs

Nifty touches record high; software stocks gain.  Full Article 

New Adviser

New Adviser

Arvind Subramanian likely to be chief econ adviser.  Full Article 

Pricing Mechanism

Pricing Mechanism

Govt sets up a four-member panel to re-examine gas pricing.  Full Article 

Royalty Rates

Royalty Rates

India to hike iron ore royalty, miners may struggle to pass on extra cost.  Full Article 

Diesel Deregulation

Diesel Deregulation

Oil ministry to seek Cabinet nod on diesel deregulation - sources  Full Article 

Commodities

Commodities

Gold near two-month low; set for weekly drop on interest rate fears  Full Article 

Reuters Exclusive

Reuters Exclusive

Apple iPhone 6 screen snag leaves supply chain scrambling   Full Article 

Helping Regional Mills

Helping Regional Mills

Govt raises sugar import duty to 25 pct from 15 pct.  Full Article 

Curbing Risks

Curbing Risks

RBI to lower ceiling on bank loans to a single corporate group.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage