Title: Environmental impacts of global supply chain: a review of scientific, policy and legal components for including environmental and climate challenges
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2013
JRC N°: JRC77737
ISBN: 978-92-79-28214-0
ISSN: 1831-9424
Other Identifiers: EUR 25754 EN
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC77737
DOI: 10.2788/799
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: During the last two decades globalisation has been a key variable driving economic growth and raising the living standards of nearly everyone on the planet, although not without cost. Indeed, the growth in world trade resulting from globalisation is now increasingly seen as an issue in the scientific and political debate on the environmental impacts of global supply chain and consumption. Most cost efficient locations around the world accelerate the trends towards international specialization causing some distortions of the markets in terms of the use of natural resources. The relative international competitiveness of companies in nations with stronger environmental protection regulations (haven hypothesis) is one argument for looking at alternative global environmental regulatory tools that are compatible with international trade agreements and development policies. Literature recognises that stringent environmental policies can force pollution intensive sectors to move to regions more favourable if the abatement costs are too high. However, trade is not a driver of environmental degradation, but the structure of the markets and the presence of market failures (externalities, no definitions of property rights) are the causes of environmental impacts.This report analyses the key features of global supply chain and its environmental impacts related to biodiversity loss, water conservation, raw material. The report provides a deep analysis on Climate change and global supply chain. It analyses the scientific, legal and policy components of the international debate over carbon and trade. It introduces and analyses the concept of the consumption-based approach and compares it with the production-based one. The reports highlights that policy makers should look beyond the traditional geo-political regions and a consumption-based perspective would represent a significant step in this direction in order to manage a sustainable global supply chain.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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