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GTAP Resource #2107

"The role of land heterogeneity in determining climate change mitigation costs"
by Hertel, Thomas, Huey-Lin Lee, Navin Ramankutty and Steven Rose

Changes in land use and land cover represent an important driver of net Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. It has been estimated that roughly a third of the total emissions of carbon into the atmosphere since 1850 has resulted from land use change (and the remainder from fossil-fuel emissions) (Houghton, 2003). For example, in the 1990s, 6.4 Gt-C yr-1 was emitted to the atmosphere from industrial activities and 2.2 Gt-C yr-1 was emitted from tropical deforestation. In addition, agricultural activities are responsible for approximately 50% of global atmospheric inputs of methane (CH4) and agricultural soils are responsible for 75% of global nitrous oxide emissions (Scheehle and Kruger, forthcoming; US-EPA, forthcoming]) as well as soil carbon fluxes. Land-using activities - most notably forestry -- also offer considerable scope for carbon sequestration. Yet most global models of climate change policy have thus far failed to account for the drivers of land-use and land-use change and therefore cannot fully take into account the role and implications of land use and land use change in mitigation.

A number of estimates have been made of the cost of abating greenhouse gas emissions through land use change (Richards and Stokes, 2004). Early estimates suggest that mitigating emissions from land use management could be less expensive than through mitigation of traditional industrial activities (US-EPA/GTAP, 2004). Therefore, numerous partial and general equilibrium models are being developed to study climate change policy and the role of land use change in abating GHG emissions. Furthermore, integrated assessment models are being developed to assess the impacts of climate change on land use practices, and the subsequent feedbacks to land-use mitigation. However, this work is in its infancy and it has been hindered by the lack of a consistent global land resource database linked to underlying economic activity and GHG emissions and sequestration drivers.

Resource Details (Export Citation) GTAP Keywords
Category: 2006 Conference Paper
Status: Published
By/In: Presented at the 9th Annual Conference on Global Economic Analysis, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Date: 2006
Created: Rose, S. (5/2/2006)
Updated: Batta, G. (6/7/2006)
Visits: 3,969
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