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Abstract

The global food system, from fertilizer production to food packaging, is responsible for one-third of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. On average, carbon footprint represents more than 50% of the total ecological footprint in the world. Carbon footprint is said to be a widely accepted indicator of GHG intensity, originating from different economic activities. Due to its important role in raising awareness of global warming, scientists and policymakers also use it as a management tool. However, the application of carbon footprint on the agricultural sector is still limited in the literature. The aim of the paper is to explore what agriculture-specific factors influence the carbon footprint at a global level. This research investigates the determinants of the carbon footprint on a global sample, considering the role of agriculture and trade for a period of 1961-2013. Data are derived from the Global Footprint Network and the World Bank databases. The sample includes a panel dataset of 133 countries and 53 years’ period. A feasible generalized least squares estimator is applied to the sample in order to estimate the regression model, along with panel tests. Results show that carbon footprint is stimulated by economic development and agricultural production (arable land, agricultural machinery, fertilizer use). Furthermore, agricultural trade has a positive impact on the carbon footprint. By contrast, the growth of carbon footprint is negatively related to the higher share of rural population and agricultural development.

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