Marginal abatement costs of greenhouse gas emissions: broadacre farming in the Great Southern Region of Western Australia

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Abstract

Broadacre agriculture is a major emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG). To improve efficiency of climate change policies, we need to know the marginal abatement costs of agricultural GHG. This article combines calculations of on-farm GHG emissions with an input-based distance function approach to estimate the marginal abatement costs for a broadacre farming system in the Great Southern Region of Western Australia. The results show that, in the study region, the average marginal abatement cost for the 1998–2005 periods was $29.3 per tonne CO2-e. Farms with higher crop output shares were found to have higher marginal abatement costs. Overall, our results indicate that broadacre agriculture is among the lowest cost sources of GHG mitigation.

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