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Carbon Sequestration in Agriculture: EU and US Perspectives

  • Linda M. Young
  • Alfons Weersink
  • Murray Fulton
  • B. James Deaton

summary Both the European Union and the United States are defining the role that agricultural soil sequestration of carbon will play in their overall strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These decisions have important ramifications, as recent research indicates that soil sequestration of carbon may have the potential to reduce the need for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The EU ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2002, but chose not to use soil sequestration of carbon in its strategy to address climate change, and has excluded it from the EU's new carbon market. The EU's strategy can be explained by uncertainties surrounding soil sequestration and by the importance of its international leadership on climate change. In contrast, the United States has not ratified the KP, but is encouraging the use of soil carbon sequestration on a modest level, through its agricultural policy and research. There is some trading taking place using soil sequestration in the weak US market for carbon, partially due to US freedom from international protocols on this method of greenhouse gas reduction. As both the science and international protocols for carbon sequestration advance, the EU may reconsider the use of agricultural sequestration of carbon as a means for achieving its Kyoto Protocol commitments. Copyright The Agricultural Ecomomics Society and the European Association of Agricultural Economists 2007.

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Article provided by The Agricultural Economics Society in its journal EuroChoices.

Volume (Year): 6 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (04)
Pages: 32-37

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Handle: RePEc:bla:eurcho:v:6:y:2007:i:1:p:32-37
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