Cost-effectiveness of greenhouse gas mitigation measures for agriculture: a literature review

M MacLeod, V Eory, Guillaume Gruere, Jussi Lankoski

Research output: Book/Report/Policy Brief/Technical BriefCommissioned report


This paper reviews the international literature on the cost-effectiveness of supply-side mitigation measures that can reduce the emissions intensity of agriculture while maintaining or increasing production. Sixty-five recent international studies of cost-effectiveness covering 181 individual activities are reviewed. Nine case studies of well covered mitigation measures, generally using a cost-engineering approach, illustrate significant differences in the cost-effectiveness of measures across countries and studies, in part due to contextual differences. Although caution needs to be exercised in comparing heterogeneous studies, the results suggest that measures based on fertiliser use efficiency, cattle breeding, and potentially improving energy efficiency in mobile machinery, are often considered highly cost-effective mitigation measures across countries. A preliminary overview of policy highlights the existence of a range of options to encourage the adoption of cost-effective measures, from information to incentive-based policies. Further analysis is needed to address remaining estimation challenges and to help determine how mitigation measures may be embedded into broader climate, agricultural and environmental policy frameworks.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationParis
Number of pages73
Publication statusPrint publication - 1 Aug 2015

Publication series

NameOECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers


  • Climate change mitigation
  • Agri-environment
  • Cost efficiency


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