Trade, Environment and Adjustments: Contemporary Themes

AuthorGouranga G. Das
Publication Date01 Aug 2020
02FTR919837_ncx.indd Editorial
Trade, Environment
Foreign Trade Review
55(3) 271–276, 2020
and Adjustments:
© 2020 Indian Institute of
Foreign Trade
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/0015732520919837
Globally, strong innovation, institutional and policy reforms have spurred myriads
of issues transcending boundaries of various disciplines-natural science, social
science, economics—causing paradigmatic shift. Globalisation has led to the
emergence of a plethora of channels via which the effects are transmitted across the
participants—developed and less developed nations (LDCs). There are multiple
facets of development such as institution, globalisation and regional integration,
clean technology, climate change and environmental sustainability (sustainable
development). However, as Rodrik (2018, p. x) argues: ‘It has long been an
unspoken rule of public engagement for economists that they should champion
trade and not dwell too much on the fine print’. In fact, reaping the gains from
comparative advantage is not unfettered or ‘straight’. Various factors need to
be considered for ‘balanced adjustments’. One of the important concerns in this
technology-driven, high-growth world is about environmental sustainability. Stern
(2007) is a sharp pointer in this direction, warning against the adverse growth and
development effect of emissions and pollution-intensive activities. Despite energy-
efficiency escalation, it is projected that world fossil fuel consumption could
double by 2020 and CO emission would rise proportionately. Pertinent issues
are attaining energy-efficiency as well as promoting green and clean technology.
Riskier anthropogenic alteration of climate patterns would put mankind in danger.
Many researchers have discussed about the importance of addressing the climate
change mitigation policies and failure of the Kyoto Protocol so as to ‘design a more
durable international agreement’ or coordinated action. It all depends not only on
economics but also on national legal, accounting and socio-institutional structure
in conjunction with international cooperation with much significant role being
ascribed to economic theory as ‘good guidance’ on designing ‘politically realistic
policy’ based on a hybrid approach of multi-disciplinary nature (McKibbin &
Wilcoxen, 2002). However, economic growth and trade affect the environment
with diverse effects on countries at different stages of development via decline in
output, investment and increasing political instability.
These issues are critical, and this consideration is the starting point behind this
special issue. The last special issue that was published in February (Volume 55,
Number 1) was on ‘Special Themes on Trade War and Global Restructuring and

Foreign Trade Review 55(3)
How Does it Affect the Widely Dispersed Global Production Networks’. The
current one is derived from the spillover of responses from the earlier one with
extensions of the domain from trade to macroeconomic and environmental
problems related to the...

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