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Copenhagen meets Doha: Greenhouse gas emission reduction and trade liberalization in Norwegian agriculture

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  • Blandford, David
  • Gaasland, Ivar
  • Vardal, Erling

Abstract

As a result of substantial government support, Norway is more or less self-sufficient in its main agricultural products. This contributes to both trade distortions and higher greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In multinational negotiations separate efforts are being made to liberalize trade (through the World Trade Organization) and to reduce global GHG emissions (through the United Nations). Using a model of Norwegian agriculture, we explore interconnections between trade liberalization and GHG emission reductions. We show that the Doha proposals would involve no major cut in either agricultural production or GHG emissions due to weakness in the disciplines on trade distorting support. We contrast further trade liberalization and the use of a carbon tax to achieve emission reductions. Trade liberalization involves relatively large impacts on agricultural activity. Trade distortions decrease, and, economic welfare increases substantially due to lower production. For a high cost country like Norway, this indicates that the GHG abatement cost is negative in the sector if no value is attributed to agricultural activity beyond the world market price of food. A more targeted policy to reduce GHG emissions is to use a carbon tax. Compared to the trade liberalization case, both production and land use can be kept at a higher level with only a modest decrease in economic welfare. The side-effect is, however, higher trade distortions

Suggested Citation

  • Blandford, David & Gaasland, Ivar & Vardal, Erling, 2010. "Copenhagen meets Doha: Greenhouse gas emission reduction and trade liberalization in Norwegian agriculture," 84th Annual Conference, March 29-31, 2010, Edinburgh, Scotland 91729, Agricultural Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aesc10:91729
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Martinsson, Peter, 2006. "Honestly, why are you driving a BMW?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 129-146, June.
    2. Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Svedsäter, Henrik, 2007. "Hypothetical bias in choice experiments: Within versus between subject tests," Working Papers in Economics 252, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    3. Brown, Thomas C. & Ajzen, Icek & Hrubes, Daniel, 2003. "Further tests of entreaties to avoid hypothetical bias in referendum contingent valuation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 353-361, September.
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    Keywords

    Environmental Economics and Policy;

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