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Impact of Large-Scale Conversion to Organic Farming on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Znaor, Darko (2009) Impact of Large-Scale Conversion to Organic Farming on Greenhouse Gas Emissions. In: Znaor, Darko (Ed.) Proceedings of the International Conference on Organic Agriculture and Climate Change, Avalon Foundation, Wommels, pp. 58-68.

[thumbnail of climate_change.pdf]
PDF - English

Document available online at: http://www.avalon-conference.org/climate_change.pdf


This paper gives an overview of the two studies assessing likely greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of large-scale conversion to organic farming (in Croatia and the UK) and provides an estimate of the impact a total conversion to organic farming would have on the GHG emissions of the EU-27.
Organic farming does not use synthetic fertilisers. A total conversion to organic farming would thus result in cutting all GHG emissions generated by the manufacture of synthetic fertilisers, their transport, application and emissions from the soil. Besides, since organic farming usually results in the sequestration of carbon in the soil, its wide adoption would provide a substantial carbon sink in the soil. In the case of Croatia, a total conversion to organic farming would decrease GHG emissions arising from farming and farm-upstream linked sectors by 72 percent as compared to the present situation. A total conversion to organic farming in the UK would reduce the environmental and health costs generated by GHG by approximately 60 percent, while the external costs of a food basket (assuming also the use of environmentally-friendly means of transport) would fall tenfold. Finally, by adopting a full-scale conversion to organic farming, the EU-27 would seem to be able to cut its GHG emissions by 5.6 percent. This is exactly as much as the current gap in reaching the GHG reduction policy target, which EU-27 will not be able to bridge even by implementing all its planned policies and by employing best available technological means presently known.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:Organic farming and climate change; Organic farming and greenhouse gas emissions; Environmental impact of organic farming; Agriculture and greenhouse gas emissions; Large-scale conversion to organic farming; Wide-spread adoption of organic farming; Scaling organic agriculture; Croatia; EU-27;
Subjects: Food systems > Food security, food quality and human health
Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy > Systems research and participatory research
Soil > Nutrient turnover
Farming Systems > Social aspects
Environmental aspects > Air and water emissions
Food systems > Policy environments and social economy
Environmental aspects
Research affiliation: Netherlands
Deposited By: Znaor, Dr Darko
ID Code:26391
Deposited On:20 Jun 2014 11:46
Last Modified:20 Jun 2014 11:46
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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