Greenhouse Gas Reduction Policies and Agriculture: Implications for Production Incentives and International Trade Disciplines

Brief
Date period
31 August 2009

SummaryFor countries seeking to design effective domestic or international climate change abating policy and incite mitigation, a solid understanding of the implications of greenhouse gas reduction policies for production incentives in agriculture and for international trade disciplines is imperative. From nearly twenty years of analysis and inquiry into the impact of human activity on climate and the effects of climate change on specific regions and economic sectors, we now know - albeit not at the level of detail and depth we need – that significant changes to agricultural production and trade are to be expected. The questions of how policies adopted to address climate change may affect agricultural production and how they relate to international trade rules are equally important and are also in need of further research.

This paper addresses these issues and makes the case for international trade rules that enable - rather than serve as obstacles to - sound policies to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. It also calls for climate change policies that do not lead to further distortions of the international agricultural trade system.