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Reducing Emissions in Croatia – the Costs of Mitigation

Landau, Seth and Znaor, Darko (2009) Reducing Emissions in Croatia – the Costs of Mitigation. In: Landau, S.; Legro, S. and Vlašić, S. (Eds.) A Climate for Change: Climate Change and its Impacts on Society and Economy in Croatia: UNDP’s National Human Development Report 2008. United Nations Development Programme, Country Office Croatia, Zagreb, pp. 185-212.

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In order to avoid dangerous climate change resulting from an increase in temperature of over 2oC, global GHG emissions must be cut by 50-85% by 2050. Croatia’s trajectory for emissions growth in the Business as Usual (BAU) case is estimated to result in 42 million tonnes of CO2e in 2020 – a significant increase from today. The EU has committed to reducing emissions by 20% by 2020. Croatia has committed to reducing emissions by an average of 5% for the period 2008-2012 from a baseline level of 36 million tonnes under the Kyoto Protocol. Croatia will also share at least part of the EU commitment for 2020, especially with respect to emissions from major point sources such as power plants and industrial sources. The energy sector is the largest source of GHG emissions in Croatia (73% in 2006). There are many potential measures to reduce emissions from the energy sector by 2020. It is estimated that by implementing the measures in the Energy Efficiency Master Plan, 1% of the national GDP could be saved. Emission reductions from households and the service industry could amount to almost 2 million tonnes by 2020 with a net economic benefit from energy cost savings. Industrial efficiency measures could also have a positive financial impact on companies. Producing electricity from renewable resources, increasing the efficiency of conversion and transmission, and – more controversially – moving to more nuclear power and electricity generated from burning waste, could yield significantly fewer emissions. Reducing fuel consumption in transportation through fuel-efficient vehicles, lower-carbon fuels, using biodiesel or other biofuels, or reducing car travel through better urban planning, public transportation, and traffic systems are also potential areas where emissions can be cut.
The agricultural sector accounts for almost 11% of Croatian emission (2006). Agriculture can play a role in reducing direct emissions from agricultural soils and improved livestock and manure management. Agriculture also has an indirect impact on emissions due to fertiliser production and emissions from transport. Finally, agriculture can have an impact on mitigation due to land use, land use changes and forestry (LULUCF) activities related to converting arable land to grassland or forests, converting drained arable land back to wetlands, or increasing soil in carbon storage management practices.
Organic farming contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions because it reduces the consumption of fossil fuels (notably those used in fertiliser manufacturing), reduces emissions of CO2, methane and nitrogen oxides and reduces the vulnerability of soils to erosion, while at the same time increasing carbon stocks in the soil. Consequently, conversion to organic farming is considered a viable way of reducing GHG emissions. Depending on the commodity produced, organic farming emits 6-60% less GHGs than non-organic farming. Average CO2 emissions per unit area from organic beef are 57% lower than for nonorganic production. However, if there are substantially lower yields, organic farming results in higher GHGs per kg of product. Numerous studies have shown that, despite their reliance on frequent mechanical weed control, organic farming systems can increase soil organic matter stocks. Various long-term trials have shown that the annual carbon increase in soil from organic farming is 12-28%.
This Report presents seven possible mitigation scenarios. They are based on different approaches and technologies that could theoretically be applied to realise mitigation effects. One of them is the“Organic 25%”scenario, assuming the conversion of 25% of agricultural land to organic farming by 2020. It envisages the same crop and livestock mix as in 2005 and the calculation is based on a study commissioned by the UNFAO and a follow-up study. It does not take into account the carbon sequestration effect of organic management.
Of the seven examined scenarios, the “Organic 25%” and “Ruminants reduced by 25%” scenarios are the only two GHG emission mitigation scenarios exhibiting a positive net economic benefit (= benefits minus costs). The organic farming scenario benefits from the fact that the organic farming gross value added per hectare is comparable with that of non-organic production and because it saves public money invested in fertiliser manufacturing and transport. Estimated marginal costs per tonne of CO2e reduction in 2020 in the “Organic 25%” scenario ranges from -10 to -30 EUR. Its potential emissions reduction (excluding carbon sequestration) equals to 515 million tonnes CO2e, representing 1.7% of all Croatia’s GHG emissions in 2006.
While this calculation needs further analysis, it shows mitigation costs (actually benefits) and GHG emissions reduction potential of a wide-spread adoption of organic farming. However, while potential does exist and seems achievable at no cost, there are many political, institutional, technical, and other considerations that would have to be resolved to reach this.

EPrint Type:Book chapter
Keywords:Green house gasses (GHG) mitigation cost and potential of organic farming; climate change and organic farming; GHG agriculture emissions forecast; mitigation scenarios for agriculture; large-scale conversion to organic farming; wide-spread adoption of organic farming, scaling-up organic farming, Croatia
Subjects: Food systems > Recycling, balancing and resource management
Environmental aspects > Air and water emissions
Food systems > Policy environments and social economy
Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy
"Organics" in general > Countries and regions > Croatia
Research affiliation:Other countries
International Organizations > Other organizations
Deposited By: Znaor, Dr Darko
ID Code:26383
Deposited On:18 Jun 2014 12:30
Last Modified:12 Aug 2014 06:20
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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