Globalization and the Environment

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As discussed in the previous chapter, globalization has removed many of the trade barriers to allow freer movement of capital. Proponents of globalization argue that an increase in trades stimulates investment, reduces poverty, allows transfer of cleaner technology, improves health, creates jobs, and provides environmental benefits in the form of greater investment in air and water quality. Critics contend that globalization encourages ever more economic growth and production with no real concern about unequal and unsustainable pattern of consumption (1). To promote globalization, international agreements are made that removes tariffs and other barriers to trade. As a result of such agreements, subsidies for many essential goods are eliminated and, because they cannot effectively compete with well-developed highly automated agricultural and manufacturing practices of developing countries, many thousands of small farmers, artisans, and independent workers lose their livelihoods. Another charge against globalization is that, since environmental laws are less strict and corruption is more rampant in some of the developing countries, many developed countries have moved their manufacturing sectors to these countries. Weaker environmental laws in the developing countries have given governments and large corporations an effective argument to lower their own environmental laws, thus leveling the playing field to the detriment of the global environment.


(1) Dauvergne, P., Handbook of Global Environmental Politics, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2005.

(2) Toossi Reza, "Energy and the Environment:Sources, technologies, and impacts", Verve Publishers, 2005

Further Reading

Chapman, D., Environmental Economics: Theory, Application, and Policy,” Addison-Wiley, 2000.

Goodstein, E. S., Economics and the Environment, 4th Ed., John Wiley & Sons, 2002.

Siebert, H., Economics of the Environment: Theory and Policy, Springer Verlog, 2004.

Dauvergne, P., Handbook of Global Environmental Politics, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2005.

Journal of Environmental Economics and Management (JEEM), the journal of Association of Environmental and Resource Economics.

Ecological Economics – Direct Science Elsevier Publishing Company, the journal of the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE).

Environmental Economics and Policy Studies – Published by Springer-Verlog, New York is the official journal of the Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies.

External Links

US Agency for International Development (

National Center for Environmental Economics (

United Nations Development Program (

United Nations Environment Programme (

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (

World Resource Institute (

Union of Concerned Scientists (