Designing policies to mitigate the agricultural contribution to climate change: an assessment of soil based carbon sequestration and its ancillary effects

K Glenk, S Colombo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Soil carbon sequestration has been regarded as a cheap and cost-effective way to sequester carbon until other technologies to tackle climate change become available or more cost-effective. An assessment of the social desirability of a soil carbon sequestration policy requires the consideration of all associated social costs and benefits. Measures to re-accumulate carbon in soils have ancillary or co-effects on the environment that can be beneficial or detrimental to social welfare and few of which are traded in markets. This paper discusses issues related to the development of soil carbon sequestration policies into agri-environmental schemes and reports findings from an application of a choice experiment to elicit preferences and estimate benefits of a soil carbon programme in Scotland under consideration of co-effects on biodiversity and rural viability. Preferences for soil carbon based mitigation are found to be heterogeneous and related to beliefs about climate change and attitudes towards its mitigation. Benefit estimates suggest that including co-effects can significantly change the outcome of cost–benefit tests. Implications for the development of climate change policies are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43 - 66
Number of pages24
JournalClimatic Change
Volume105
DOIs
Publication statusFirst published - 2010

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soil carbon
carbon sequestration
climate change
soil
mitigation
carbon
cost
viability
policy
effect
biodiversity
market
experiment

Bibliographical note

1020901

Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Carbon sequestration
  • Climate change
  • Mitigation
  • Policy
  • Soil

Cite this

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abstract = "Soil carbon sequestration has been regarded as a cheap and cost-effective way to sequester carbon until other technologies to tackle climate change become available or more cost-effective. An assessment of the social desirability of a soil carbon sequestration policy requires the consideration of all associated social costs and benefits. Measures to re-accumulate carbon in soils have ancillary or co-effects on the environment that can be beneficial or detrimental to social welfare and few of which are traded in markets. This paper discusses issues related to the development of soil carbon sequestration policies into agri-environmental schemes and reports findings from an application of a choice experiment to elicit preferences and estimate benefits of a soil carbon programme in Scotland under consideration of co-effects on biodiversity and rural viability. Preferences for soil carbon based mitigation are found to be heterogeneous and related to beliefs about climate change and attitudes towards its mitigation. Benefit estimates suggest that including co-effects can significantly change the outcome of cost–benefit tests. Implications for the development of climate change policies are discussed.",
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N2 - Soil carbon sequestration has been regarded as a cheap and cost-effective way to sequester carbon until other technologies to tackle climate change become available or more cost-effective. An assessment of the social desirability of a soil carbon sequestration policy requires the consideration of all associated social costs and benefits. Measures to re-accumulate carbon in soils have ancillary or co-effects on the environment that can be beneficial or detrimental to social welfare and few of which are traded in markets. This paper discusses issues related to the development of soil carbon sequestration policies into agri-environmental schemes and reports findings from an application of a choice experiment to elicit preferences and estimate benefits of a soil carbon programme in Scotland under consideration of co-effects on biodiversity and rural viability. Preferences for soil carbon based mitigation are found to be heterogeneous and related to beliefs about climate change and attitudes towards its mitigation. Benefit estimates suggest that including co-effects can significantly change the outcome of cost–benefit tests. Implications for the development of climate change policies are discussed.

AB - Soil carbon sequestration has been regarded as a cheap and cost-effective way to sequester carbon until other technologies to tackle climate change become available or more cost-effective. An assessment of the social desirability of a soil carbon sequestration policy requires the consideration of all associated social costs and benefits. Measures to re-accumulate carbon in soils have ancillary or co-effects on the environment that can be beneficial or detrimental to social welfare and few of which are traded in markets. This paper discusses issues related to the development of soil carbon sequestration policies into agri-environmental schemes and reports findings from an application of a choice experiment to elicit preferences and estimate benefits of a soil carbon programme in Scotland under consideration of co-effects on biodiversity and rural viability. Preferences for soil carbon based mitigation are found to be heterogeneous and related to beliefs about climate change and attitudes towards its mitigation. Benefit estimates suggest that including co-effects can significantly change the outcome of cost–benefit tests. Implications for the development of climate change policies are discussed.

KW - Agriculture

KW - Carbon sequestration

KW - Climate change

KW - Mitigation

KW - Policy

KW - Soil

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