Reducing barriers to trade and investment would support cost-effective and efficient decarbonisation of the energy sector, according to a new report by the World Energy Council (WEC).

The membership organisation, which is accredited by the United Nations, said that the market for environmental goods could be worth $1 trillion (£760 billion).

Efforts should concentrate on removing “non-tariff” barriers – including customs procedures, import requirements, technical standards and other regulations – which affect between 80% and 90% of trade, the report suggested.

WEC said: “Rather than introducing new measures, governments could find solutions in adjusting existing measures to spur competition, guarantee transparency and correct failures in the trade system such as resolving inefficiencies and discriminatory or duplicative measures.”

Helping COP21 Paris Agreement

Subsidies for energy technologies need to be well designed or they could result in inefficient and unsustainable use of subsidised energy, the report added.

Christoph Frei, Secretary-General of the WEC, said: “Addressing the energy trilemma presents extraordinary challenges for policymakers and requires an adequate global trade and investment regime.

“This would encourage and leverage investment, innovation and technology uptake, to meet the climate and energy objectives set by the United Nations, G20 and COP21.”

> Download the report