Improving the environmental performance of agriculture is a high priority in OECD and many non-OECD countries. This will be of increasing concern in the future given the pressure to feed a growing world population with scarce land and water resources. Policy has an important role to play where markets for many of the environmental outcomes from agriculture are absent or poorly functioning.
This study focuses on the design and implementation of environmental standards and regulations, taxes, payments and tradable permit schemes to address agri-environmental issues. It deals with the choice of policy instruments and the design of specific instruments, with the aim of identifying those that are most cost-effective in very different situations across OECD countries.
Key conclusions from the study are that: there is no unique instrument that promises to achieve all agri-environmental policy goals; the cost effectiveness of payments systems could be improved by using performance-based measures; and policy mixes need to combine policy instruments that complement and not conflict with each other.
Table of contents:
-Foreword -Executive Summary Chapter 1. Introduction Chapter 2. Objectives of agri-environmental policy instruments and criteria for policy evaluation Chapter 3. Policy design parameters: an overview Chapter 4. Tailoring environmental standards, environmental taxes and tradeable permits Chapter 5. Design issues for agri-environmental payment programmes Chapter 6. Policy-mixes for the agri-environment - overview of design parameters Chapter 7. Agri-environmental policies in OECD countries Chapter 8. Ex-ante and ex-post evaluation of agri-environmental policies Chapter 9. Summary and good policy practices Annex A - Compliance bases for alternative agri-environmental policy instruments Annex B - Cross-compliance in the European Union Annex C - Standards versus taxes Bibliography