Sustainability impact assessments for analysing trade liberalisation

Businessman With Shipping Containers

The environmental impact assessment (EIA) has become an essential part of the process of making key planning decisions within European Union member states. However, a method of assessing projects that only takes environmental concerns into account does not do justice to the issue of sustainability. This problem is particularly badly exacerbated as soon as developing and emerging countries come into the picture, where the social implications of certain measures may be significantly greater than in the developed world.

World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations on the further liberalisation of global markets resulted in many different parties expressing a desire for a thorough review of the liberalisation measures. A sustainability impact assessment, the concept of which was based on the EIA, seemed to be an appropriate way of conducting this review and of assessing environmental, economic and social effects in an integrated manner.

In the context of this project, adelphi came up with specific proposals for analysing and further developing methodical approaches for a sustainability impact assessment (SIA). The data to be assessed was provided by the results of investigations into the Chilean and German transport services sectors. adelphi identified economic liberalisation measures, corresponding trade and economic policy factors, as well as the social and environmental impact of those measures, and delivered an assessment based on socio-political and environmental considerations.

Publications of this project

  • Sustainability Impact Assessment of Transport Services Liberalisation

    Borregaard, Nicola, Stefanie Pfahl and Gordon Wilmsmeier 2003: Sustainability Impact Assessment of Transport Services Liberalisation. Berlin: adelphi research gGmbH.