Green Growth Strategies in Agriculture in OECD Countries

Wilfrid Legg


Agriculture is heavily dependent on natural resources, exerts a significant impact on the environment and biodiversity, and globally will need to double food production by 2050, if current trends continue, despite pressures on land and water resources and climate change. This means the sector needs to increase resource use productivity and resilience to shocks, while providing acceptable living standards and poverty reduction. This has been characterised by the OECD as “green growth”—the pursuit of economic growth and development, while preventing or minimising environmental degradation, greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensity of production, loss of biodiversity, and using natural resources within their carrying capacity. In the specific case of agriculture this is often termed “sustainable intensification”—which focuses on increasing productivity with scarce natural resources, especially

W. Legg (h)

Consultant on Agri-Environmental Policy Analysis, formerly Head of Agriculture and Environment Division, OECD, Paris, France e-mail: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

© The Author(s) 2017

G. Mergos, M. Papanastassiou (eds.), Food Security and Sustainability, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-40790-6_3

land, in an environmentally sustainable way. Many countries are aiming to combine mutually supportive economic and environmental policies to spur economic growth and reduce resource pressures. In the European Union, the Common Agricultural Policy since 2013 includes a new “Greening Payment” for farmers who implement enhanced cross compliance linking production support to climate and environmental objectives. Businesses are also trying to ensure long-term financial viability while reducing environmental footprints. However, more attention needs to be paid by governments and business to research, development, and the dissemination of best practices, and to internalising environmental externalities by getting the prices right. But this requires good data on the costs and benefits of externalities, the need for well-targeted policies with a commitment to a longer-term strategy, and tackling environmental issues that are global rather than only domestic in nature.

< Prev   CONTENTS   Source   Next >