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Coupling biophysical and micro-economic models to assess the effect of mitigation measures on greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture


  • Sophie Durandeau

    () (ECO-PUB - Economie Publique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - AgroParisTech)

  • Benoit Gabrielle

    () (EGC - Environnement et Grandes Cultures - AgroParisTech - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique)

  • Caroline Godard

    () (ECO-PUB - Economie Publique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - AgroParisTech)

  • Pierre-Alain Jayet

    () (ECO-PUB - Economie Publique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - AgroParisTech)

  • Christine Le Bas

    () (ORLEANS INFOSOL - Unité INFOSOL - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique)


Agricultural soils are a major source of atmospheric nitrous oxide (N2O), a potent greenhouse gas (GHG). Because N2O emissions strongly depend on soil type, climate, and crop management, their inventory requires the combination of biophysical and economic modeling, to simulate farmers' behavior. Here, we coupled a biophysical soil-crop model, CERES-EGS, with an economic farm type supply model, AROPAj, at the regional scale in northern France. Response curves of N2O emissions to fertilizer nitrogen (Nf) inputs were generated with CERES-EGC, and linearized to obtain emission factors. The latter ranged from 0.001 to 0.0225 kg N2O-N kg-1 Nf, depending on soil and crop type, compared to the fixed 0.0125 value of the IPCC guidelines. The modeled emission factors were fed into the economic model AROPAj which relates farm-level GHG emissions to production factors. This resulted in a N2O efflux 20% lower than with the default IPCC method. The costs of abating GHG emissions from agriculture were calculated using a first-best tax on GHG emissions, and a second-best tax on their presumed factors (livestock size and fertilizer inputs). The first-best taxation was relatively efficient, achieving an 8\% reduction with a tax of 11 euro/t-CO2-equivalent, compared to 68 euro/t-CO2eq for the same target with the second-best scheme.

Suggested Citation

  • Sophie Durandeau & Benoit Gabrielle & Caroline Godard & Pierre-Alain Jayet & Christine Le Bas, 2010. "Coupling biophysical and micro-economic models to assess the effect of mitigation measures on greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture," Post-Print hal-00410001, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00410001
    DOI: 10.1007/s10584-009-9653-8
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    Cited by:

    1. Garnache, Cloé & Mérel, Pierre R. & Lee, Juhwan & Six, Johan, 2017. "The social costs of second-best policies: Evidence from agricultural GHG mitigation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 39-73.
    2. Bernd Lengers & Wolfgang Britz, 2012. "The choice of emission indicators in environmental policy design: an analysis of GHG abatement in different dairy farms based on a bio-economic model approach," Review of Agricultural and Environmental Studies - Revue d'Etudes en Agriculture et Environnement, INRA Department of Economics, vol. 93(2), pages 117-144.
    3. Vermont, Bruno & De Cara, Stéphane, 2010. "How costly is mitigation of non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture?: A meta-analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(7), pages 1373-1386, May.
    4. Garnache, Cloe & Merel, Pierre R. & Lee, Juhwan & Six, Johan, 2014. "Markets for Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Offsets: The Role of Policy Design on Abatement Efficiency," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 170718, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Henseler, Martin & Dechow, Rene, 2014. "Simulation of regional nitrous oxide emissions from German agricultural mineral soils: A linkage between an agro-economic model and an empirical emission model," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 70-82.
    6. Lengers, Bernd & Britz, Wolfgang & Holm-Müller, Karin, 2013. "Trade-off of feasibility against accuracy and cost efficiency in choosing indicators for the abatement of GHG-emissions in dairy farming," Discussion Papers 162877, University of Bonn, Institute for Food and Resource Economics.


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