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Estimating the Marginal Costs of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Abatement using Irish Farm-Level Data


  • Breen, James P.
  • Donellan, Trevor


Agriculture in Ireland accounts for a higher proportion of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than in any other EU member state. Furthermore as part of the EU’s commitment to reduce emissions by 20 percent by 2020, Ireland is one of the few countries who will have to cuts its 2005 GHG emissions level by the full 20 percent. Given the magnitude of the cut in national emissions that is required and the size of agriculture’s contribution to Ireland’s total emissions, the agriculture sector has been identified by some parties as a sector that could make a significant contribution to achieving the national target. In order to evaluate the impact on Irish farmers of reducing GHG emissions it is necessary to first estimate the marginal cost of emissions abatement. This paper uses Irish farm-level data to construct a linear programming model which in turn is used to estimate the marginal abatement cost curve for GHG emissions on Irish farms and this is aggregated to estimate a marginal cost curve for the agriculture sector. The impact of an emissions tax in achieving targeted levels of GHG emissions will be measured under a baseline scenario of no policy change.

Suggested Citation

  • Breen, James P. & Donellan, Trevor, 2009. "Estimating the Marginal Costs of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Abatement using Irish Farm-Level Data," 83rd Annual Conference, March 30-April 1, 2009, Dublin, Ireland 50938, Agricultural Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aesc09:50938

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Klepper, Gernot & Peterson, Sonja, 2006. "Marginal abatement cost curves in general equilibrium: The influence of world energy prices," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-23, January.
    2. Criqui, Patrick & Mima, Silvana & Viguier, Laurent, 1999. "Marginal abatement costs of CO2 emission reductions, geographical flexibility and concrete ceilings: an assessment using the POLES model," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(10), pages 585-601, October.
    3. Coggins, Jay S. & Swinton, John R., 1996. "The Price of Pollution: A Dual Approach to Valuing SO2Allowances," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 58-72, January.
    4. Manish Gupta, 2006. "Costs of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions: A Case Study of India’s Power Generation Sector," Working Papers 2006.147, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    5. Rezek, Jon P. & Campbell, Randall C., 2007. "Cost estimates for multiple pollutants: A maximum entropy approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 503-519, May.
    6. Schneider, Uwe A. & Kumar, Pushpam, 2008. "Greenhouse Gas Mitigation through Agriculture," Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 23(1).
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    More about this item


    Keywords: Farm-Level; Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Marginal Abatement Cost Curve; Agricultural and Food Policy; Q12; Q18; Q52;

    JEL classification:

    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects

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