The Effectiveness, Efficiency and Equity of Market Based and Voluntary Measures to Mitigate Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the Agri-Food Sector

UNCTAD Trade and Environment Review, 2010

37 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2011

See all articles by Alexander Kasterine

Alexander Kasterine

International Trade Centre (ITC)

David Vanzetti

Australian National University

Date Written: February 24, 2010

Abstract

Agriculture accounts for 13 percent of global GHG emissions. This rises to approximately 30 percent if land clearance for farming, agrochemical production and trade in agricultural and food products are attributed to the sector. Market based mechanisms (carbon tax, cap and trade, payment for environmental services) and voluntary mitigation measures (carbon labeling and food miles) are reviewed for their effectiveness (if they reduce emissions), efficiency (the costs of the measures) and equity (fairness to suppliers). Measures to reduce agricultural emissions are limited in their effectiveness and efficiency by the technical difficulty and high costs of measuring, reporting and verification. However, pricing carbon would be effective in internalizing negative externalities in the transport, processing, retail and consumer purchase and preparation of food. The GTAP model is used to illustrate that a US $40 carbon tax implemented in the EU would have little negative impact on developing country exporters of agricultural products due to their low carbon intensity. Carbon labeling and food miles initiatives are likely to be ineffective, inefficient and unfair to developing country exporters.

Keywords: Climate Change, Agriculture, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Trade, Carbon Tax, Cap and Trade, Payment For Environmental Services, MRV, GTAP, Carbon Label, Food Miles

JEL Classification: Q17, G68, H23, D82

Suggested Citation

Kasterine, Alexander and Vanzetti, David M., The Effectiveness, Efficiency and Equity of Market Based and Voluntary Measures to Mitigate Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the Agri-Food Sector (February 24, 2010). UNCTAD Trade and Environment Review, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1768948

Alexander Kasterine (Contact Author)

International Trade Centre (ITC) ( email )

54-56 Rue de Montbrillant
Geneva
Switzerland

David M. Vanzetti

Australian National University ( email )

Crawford School of Public Policy
Lennox Crossing, ANU
Canberra, ACT 0200
Australia

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