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Cost-Effectiveness of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Measures for Agriculture

This paper, published in OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers is aimed at showcasing the growing evidence base on supply-side (agricultural) greenhouse gas mitigation for reducing the emissions intensity of agriculture while maintaining or increasing production. It does this by reviewing 65 recent international studies of cost-effectiveness covering 181 individual activities and by explaining some of the key concepts involved in this field.

The results show that highly cost-effective mitigation measures across countries include those targeting fertiliser use efficiency, cattle breeding, and potentially improving energy efficiency in mobile machinery. The paper highlights a range of policy options for encouraging the uptake of mitigation measures with focus on information and incentive-based policies.

Abstract

This paper reviews the international literature on the cost-effectiveness of supply-side mitigation measures that can reduce the emissions intensity of agriculture while maintaining or increasing production. Sixty-five recent international studies of cost-effectiveness covering 181 individual activities are reviewed. Nine case studies of well covered mitigation measures, generally using a cost-engineering approach, illustrate significant differences in the cost-effectiveness of measures across countries and studies, in part due to contextual differences. Although caution needs to be exercised in comparing heterogeneous studies, the results suggest that measures based on fertiliser use efficiency, cattle breeding, and potentially improving energy efficiency in mobile machinery, are often considered highly cost-effective mitigation measures across countries. A preliminary overview of policy highlights the existence of a range of options to encourage the adoption of cost-effective measures, from information to incentive-based policies. Further analysis is needed to address remaining estimation challenges and to help determine how mitigation measures may be embedded into broader climate, agricultural and environmental policy frameworks.

Citation

MacLeod, M., Eory, V.,  G. Gruère and J. Lankoski (2015), "Cost-Effectiveness of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Measures for Agriculture: A Literature Review", OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers, No. 89, OECD Publishing, Paris.

Read the full paper (which is available in both English and French) here

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Publication
03 Sep 2015
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