Keywords: trade liberalisation, agriculture, agricultural trade, environmental protection, environmental quality, climate change, transport flows, invasive species, globalisation, greenhouse gas emissions, methane emissions, Kyoto Protocol
Agricultural trade liberalisation and the global environment: evaluating the linkages
A reduction of trade barriers will influence the overall scale of agricultural activities, the structure of agricultural production, the mix of inputs and outputs, the production technology, and the regulatory framework. These adjustments, in turn, will influence environmental quality by increasing or reducing environmental harm and creating or destroying environmental amenities. International environmental effects include transboundary spill-overs, such as greenhouse gas emissions, changes in international transport flows, and the potential introduction of non-native species, pests and diseases alongside agricultural products. This study discusses and illustrates the linkages between agricultural trade liberalisation and the global environment. Quantitative findings indicate that projected medium-term increases in ruminant livestock output could lead to substantial increases in methane emissions in some industrialised countries, which might warrant the attention of policy makers in the context of the existing Kyoto Protocol commitments on greenhouse gas emissions.