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An analysis of the spatial and temporal patterns of greenhouse gas emissions by agriculture in Western Australia and the opportunities for agroforestry offsets

  • Kingwell, Ross S.
  • Harris-Adams, Keely
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    If agriculture is included in an Australian emissions trading scheme then it may face from 2015 at the earliest, a price for its greenhouse gas emissions; and thereby have incentives to offset and lessen its emissions. Yet because there is currently little understanding of the spatial pattern of emissions in agricultural regions of Australia, the extent of the challenge the sector faces in reducing its emissions is not fully recognised. To improve our understanding, this study uses the National Greenhouse Accounts methodology to estimate the spatial and temporal patterns of agricultural emissions since 1990 in the key agricultural region in Australia’s southwest. This region generates almost 40 percent of the nation’s winter crop production and supports over a quarter of the nation’s sheep. The quantity and trajectory of emissions from each shire in this region are reported, thereby identifying where emission problems may be worsening or easing. The composition and causes of changes in emissions are discussed. This study also generates spatial estimates of sequestration costs by drawing on land and forestry cost and tree growth data. Many relatively low cost sites for carbon sequestration, based on permanent reforestation, are identified with the implication that agriculture may be able to cost-effectively offset its emissions, as well as some of those from other sectors. However, an implication of this study’s findings is that in some shires eventually there may be strong land use competition between farming and forestry.

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/48161
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    Paper provided by Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society in its series 2009 Conference (53rd), February 11-13, 2009, Cairns, Australia with number 48161.

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    Date of creation: 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:aare09:48161
    Contact details of provider: Postal: AARES Central Office Manager, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU, Canberra ACT 0200
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    Web page: http://www4.agr.gc.ca
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    1. Sabina L. Shaikh & Lili Sun & G. Cornelis van Kooten, 2007. "Are Agricultural Values a Reliable Guide in Determining Landowners' Decisions to Create Forest Carbon Sinks?," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 55(1), pages 97-114, 03.
    2. Oscar Cacho & Leslie Lipper, 2006. "Abatement and Transaction Costs of Carbon-Sink Projects Involving Smallholders," Working Papers 06-13, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
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