Climate change reduces the mitigation obtainable from sequestration in an Australian farming system

Tas Thamo, Donkor Addai, Marit Kragt, Ross Kingwell, David Pannell, Michael Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Agricultural research on climate change generally follows two themes: (i) impact and adaptation or (ii) mitigation and emissions. Despite both being simultaneously relevant to future agricultural systems, the two are usually studied separately. By contrast, this study jointly compares the potential impacts of climate change and the effects of mitigation policy on farming systems in the central region of Western Australia’s grainbelt, using the results of several biophysical models integrated into a whole‐farm bioeconomic model. In particular, we focus on the potential for interactions between climate impacts and mitigation activities. Results suggest that, in the study area, farm profitability is much more sensitive to changes in climate than to a mitigation policy involving a carbon price on agricultural emissions. Climate change reduces the profitability of agricultural production and, as a result, reduces the opportunity cost of reforesting land for carbon sequestration. Nonetheless, the financial attractiveness of reforestation does not necessarily improve because climate change also reduces tree growth and, therefore, the income from sequestration. Consequently, at least for the study area, climate change has the potential to reduce the amount of abatement obtainable from sequestration – a result potentially relevant to the debate about the desirability of sequestration as a mitigation option.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages25
JournalThe Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Sep 2019

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Climate Change
pollution control
Agriculture
farming systems
climate change
Carbon Sequestration
farm profitability
bioeconomic models
carbon markets
opportunity costs
reforestation
agricultural research
Climate
carbon sequestration
tree growth
profitability
Climate change
Farming systems
Mitigation
income

Cite this

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title = "Climate change reduces the mitigation obtainable from sequestration in an Australian farming system",
abstract = "Agricultural research on climate change generally follows two themes: (i) impact and adaptation or (ii) mitigation and emissions. Despite both being simultaneously relevant to future agricultural systems, the two are usually studied separately. By contrast, this study jointly compares the potential impacts of climate change and the effects of mitigation policy on farming systems in the central region of Western Australia’s grainbelt, using the results of several biophysical models integrated into a whole‐farm bioeconomic model. In particular, we focus on the potential for interactions between climate impacts and mitigation activities. Results suggest that, in the study area, farm profitability is much more sensitive to changes in climate than to a mitigation policy involving a carbon price on agricultural emissions. Climate change reduces the profitability of agricultural production and, as a result, reduces the opportunity cost of reforesting land for carbon sequestration. Nonetheless, the financial attractiveness of reforestation does not necessarily improve because climate change also reduces tree growth and, therefore, the income from sequestration. Consequently, at least for the study area, climate change has the potential to reduce the amount of abatement obtainable from sequestration – a result potentially relevant to the debate about the desirability of sequestration as a mitigation option.",
author = "Tas Thamo and Donkor Addai and Marit Kragt and Ross Kingwell and David Pannell and Michael Robertson",
year = "2019",
month = "9",
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doi = "10.1111/1467-8489.12330",
language = "English",
journal = "Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics",
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T1 - Climate change reduces the mitigation obtainable from sequestration in an Australian farming system

AU - Thamo, Tas

AU - Addai, Donkor

AU - Kragt, Marit

AU - Kingwell, Ross

AU - Pannell, David

AU - Robertson, Michael

PY - 2019/9/4

Y1 - 2019/9/4

N2 - Agricultural research on climate change generally follows two themes: (i) impact and adaptation or (ii) mitigation and emissions. Despite both being simultaneously relevant to future agricultural systems, the two are usually studied separately. By contrast, this study jointly compares the potential impacts of climate change and the effects of mitigation policy on farming systems in the central region of Western Australia’s grainbelt, using the results of several biophysical models integrated into a whole‐farm bioeconomic model. In particular, we focus on the potential for interactions between climate impacts and mitigation activities. Results suggest that, in the study area, farm profitability is much more sensitive to changes in climate than to a mitigation policy involving a carbon price on agricultural emissions. Climate change reduces the profitability of agricultural production and, as a result, reduces the opportunity cost of reforesting land for carbon sequestration. Nonetheless, the financial attractiveness of reforestation does not necessarily improve because climate change also reduces tree growth and, therefore, the income from sequestration. Consequently, at least for the study area, climate change has the potential to reduce the amount of abatement obtainable from sequestration – a result potentially relevant to the debate about the desirability of sequestration as a mitigation option.

AB - Agricultural research on climate change generally follows two themes: (i) impact and adaptation or (ii) mitigation and emissions. Despite both being simultaneously relevant to future agricultural systems, the two are usually studied separately. By contrast, this study jointly compares the potential impacts of climate change and the effects of mitigation policy on farming systems in the central region of Western Australia’s grainbelt, using the results of several biophysical models integrated into a whole‐farm bioeconomic model. In particular, we focus on the potential for interactions between climate impacts and mitigation activities. Results suggest that, in the study area, farm profitability is much more sensitive to changes in climate than to a mitigation policy involving a carbon price on agricultural emissions. Climate change reduces the profitability of agricultural production and, as a result, reduces the opportunity cost of reforesting land for carbon sequestration. Nonetheless, the financial attractiveness of reforestation does not necessarily improve because climate change also reduces tree growth and, therefore, the income from sequestration. Consequently, at least for the study area, climate change has the potential to reduce the amount of abatement obtainable from sequestration – a result potentially relevant to the debate about the desirability of sequestration as a mitigation option.

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