Trade and biodiversity

05-06-2020

International trade has a direct impact on EU biodiversity, imported invasive species and pathogens, being an example. Trade also impacts global biodiversity, for instance through the 'virtual' water, land, and deforestation contained in EU imports. Economic theory shows that trade with countries that fail to protect a renewable resource can be detrimental for all. Protecting global biodiversity calls for a variety of instruments, at the EU border as well as in the provisions of preferential agreements. The EU already includes biodiversity-related non-trade provisions in trade agreements, but these provisions are not legally binding and hardly effective. This is partly explained by the complexity of the issues posed by biodiversity: since there is no simple synthetic indicator, policy instruments are difficult to enforce. However, an effort to specify measurable and verifiable commitments is needed; more binding mechanisms, along with transparent and automatic sanctions in case of non-compliance should be considered.

International trade has a direct impact on EU biodiversity, imported invasive species and pathogens, being an example. Trade also impacts global biodiversity, for instance through the 'virtual' water, land, and deforestation contained in EU imports. Economic theory shows that trade with countries that fail to protect a renewable resource can be detrimental for all. Protecting global biodiversity calls for a variety of instruments, at the EU border as well as in the provisions of preferential agreements. The EU already includes biodiversity-related non-trade provisions in trade agreements, but these provisions are not legally binding and hardly effective. This is partly explained by the complexity of the issues posed by biodiversity: since there is no simple synthetic indicator, policy instruments are difficult to enforce. However, an effort to specify measurable and verifiable commitments is needed; more binding mechanisms, along with transparent and automatic sanctions in case of non-compliance should be considered.

Ekstern forfatter

Cecilia BELLORA (CEPII, France), Jean-Christophe BUREAU (AgroParisTech, France), Basak BAYRAMOGLU (INRAE, France), Estelle GOZLAN (INRAE, France), Sébastien JEAN (CEPII and INRAE, Paris)