Published: 24 November 2022

The good news and the bad news about international environmental agreements

Does signing up to stronger international environmental standards impact a country’s manufacturing competitiveness, and does it benefit the world’s environment in the long-term?

That’s the focus of a study from Assistant Professor Mihai Paraschiv from State University of New York at Oswego, Professor Maurizio Zanardi from University of Surrey and Professor Josh Ederington from the University of Kentucky.

The study looked at 205 countries from 1976 to 2018 and the long-term effect of signing international environmental agreements (IEAs) covering acid rain, climate change and ozone depletion on manufacturing competitiveness and global pollution.

While IEAs have little effect on economic competitiveness they can lead to a shift towards exporting cleaner and importing dirtier manufacturing goods from non-ratifying countries; which suggests that IEAs are less effective in reducing global pollution than has previously been thought.

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