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Aarti Krishnan

University of Manchester

Aarti Krishnan is a Hallsworth Research fellow at the University of Manchester. She is a developmental economist, working at the nexus of environment, trade and development. Her areas of expertise include value chain analysis, green growth, agricultural transformation, innovation and knowledge systems, digitalisation and regional development.

She began her career working as a commodity derivate market analyst at in Mumbai working on developing structured financial products for edible oils and oil seeds futures and carbon markets. Following this, she was a Research Associate at the University of Manchester, evaluating the role of sustainability standards, environmental innovations and corporate social responsibility in agricultural and light manufacturing sectors. She has worked as a Senior Research Officer at the Overseas Development Institute, researching a range of topics to support governments relating to technology and the SDGs and promoting the inclusion of micro and small enterprises into value chains.

She has held the prestigious ESRC postdoctoral fellowship award, researching on taking the environment seriously in value chains, researching the effects digitalisation on future of food production and consumption. Aarti holds a Masters in Environmental Management and PhD in Development Policy from the University of Manchester, and BBA (Finance) from Delhi University.
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publication
Environmental upgrading in global value chains

Responding to stakeholder pressure, firms are increasingly challenged to reduce their environmental impacts. This chapter reviews the potential upgrading trajectories for firms engaged in global value chains (GVCs) to effectively reduce the impacts on the environment of all activities linked to their products - not just those that are carried out in house - and the major drivers of these investments. We also examine the role of global lead firms in fostering the greening of GVCs and the different governing approaches that they have adopted. Furthermore, we look at different forms of supplier agency in these processes, both in the Global North and the Global South. Finally, we identify the key challenges related to the reduction of environmental impacts along GVCs and discuss limits and opportunities for the joint achievement of economic and environmental outcomes.

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publication
Disruptive technologies in agricultural value chains: Insights from East Africa

Global food demand is expected to increase by somewhere between 59% and 98% by 2050 as the world population reaches an estimated 9.7 billion. Food production is especially critical in Africa, where over 70% of the population rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. Against a backdrop of the rapid dwindling of agricultural productivity, the exclusion of women from the work force and the threat of climate change, an increase in the use of agricultural technologies – AgriTech – could help reduce livelihood loss and support inclusive economic transformation. This working paper explores the implications of the digitalisation of agriculture, with a focus on East Africa. It addresses the following key questions: What is AgriTech? What prevents adoption of AgriTech? What does disruption mean within AgriTech? What are the pathways through which AgriTech may disrupt livelihoods and support transformation?

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publication
Counting carbon in global trade Why imported emissions challenge the climate regime and what might be done about it

The foundations of the climate regime are under threat, with significant implications for developing countries. This report identifies two main threats to the climate regime. The first is the growing importance of emissions traded across national borders, currently accounting for up to 38% of global emissions, with developed countries being net importers and emerging economies mostly net exporters. The second is the increasing focus on action to reduce the carbon intensity of trade, including, of course, exports from developing to developed countries. The measurement, reporting and certification of carbon emissions plays a key role. In the best case, developing countries may find that the reshaping of the climate regime acts to their benefit, for example encouraging faster progression to low-carbon output and opening new export opportunities for low-carbon products. In the worst case, however, developing countries may find themselves bearing increasing costs for monitoring and certifying carbon content, and perhaps being at a competitive disadvantage in a low-carbon trading system.

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