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This chapter describes how economic models designed to examine agricultural policy can be adapted to explore environmental applications such as the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture to a 2050 time horizon. The tensions between environmental policy aimed at reducing GHG emissions, and policies promoting agricultural production to increase food security are explored. Ireland is a major net exporter of beef and milk products, with agriculture representing a high share of non-Emissions Trading Scheme (non-ETS) GHG emissions. Ireland is used to illustrate an issue which has wide-scale global implications. The feasibility of achieving emission reductions is examined in the absence of technical abatement measures. Instead, to reduce emissions the size of the suckler herd is limited. However, it is found that even eliminating the suckler herd would leave emissions well short of achieving a 20 % reduction target. Even a 10 % GHG emissions reduction, while possible under this approach, is likely to be politically unfeasible. The tension between environmental and food security is likely to be replicated at a global level, given the significant contribution of agricultural production to anthropogenic climate change. The chapter highlights the importance of detailed modelling of future emissions in advance of setting feasible emissions reduction targets.
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- Development and Application of Economic and Environmental Models of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Agriculture: Some Difficult Choices for Policy Makers
James P. Breen
- Chapter 13
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