Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2463

Article | Open Access

Trade Policy and Ecological Transition

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Abstract:  While the global pandemic has taken the front stage since the spring of 2020, environmental issues remain as pressing as ever. In this article, I question whether the current liberalized trade and investment regime is consistent with the possibility of an ecological transition and argue that it is not. The organization of a large part of economic activity on a world scale by multinational corporations, with profitability imperatives and relatively short planning horizons, is inherently conducive to an intensification of resource extraction and commodity production. A liberal trade and investment regime gives free rein to these dynamics, which should instead be curtailed in order to achieve the necessary adjustments to sustainable living. As such, this article will explore ways in which the trade and investment regime could be subordinated to ecological and social concerns and contribute to, rather than hinder, an ecological transition.

Keywords:  ecological transition; environment; financial liberalization; trade policy



© Mathieu Dufour. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.