Appraising Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Potentials: Effects of Alternative Assumptions
There is interest in society in general and in the agricultural and forestry sectors concerning a land-based role in greenhouse gas mitigation reduction. Numerous studies have estimated the potential supply schedules at which agriculture and forestry could produce greenhouse gas offsets. However, such studies vary widely in critical assumptions regarding economic market adjustments, allowed scope of mitigation alternatives, and region of focus. Here, we examine the effects of using different assumptions on the total emission mitigation supply curve from agriculture and forestry in the United States. To do this we employ the U.S.-based Agricultural Sector and Mitigation of Greenhouse Gas Model and find that variations in such factors can have profound effects on the results. Differences between commonly employed methods shift economic mitigation potentials from -55 to + 85%. The bias is stronger at higher carbon prices due to afforestation and energy crop plantations that reduce supply of traditional commodities. Lower carbon prices promote management changes with smaller impacts on commodity supply. Copyright 2006 International Association of Agricultural Economists.
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