CIESIN Thematic Guides

Policy Implications

One important factor to remember when formulating environmental change policies is the resulting side effects on society caused by the policies.

For example, Rosenberg and Scott (1993) predict that measures to reduce the use of fossil fuels and suppression of on-farm emissions of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) will impact agriculture and other sectors of the economy. In "Implications of Policies to Prevent Climate Change for Future Food Security," they argue that mandatory reductions in the use of CO2-emitting fossil fuels will make energy more expensive.

According to Crosson (1989) in "Climate Change and Mid-latitudes Agriculture," however, if barriers to trade in agricultural commodities become no more limiting than in a scenario without climate change, the effects of climate change on the economic and environmental costs of agricultural production should raise no major policy issues for governments of mid-latitude countries.