Options for mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture: an economic perspective for Saskatchewan farmers
The Government of Canada, in order to achieve the commitments made under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has decided to develop a National Implementation Strategy for the various economic sectors of Canada. As a part of this development, sixteen Issue Tables were appointed. The Agriculture and Agri-Food Climate Change Table has developed a set of GHG reduction strategies that could be selected by producers or governments from either a national and/or regional perspective. In this study, an analysis of these strategies is presented for Saskatchewan agriculture. Two indicators are selected: (1) reduction in the emissions of greenhouse gases from the region; and (2) economic impacts on producers. Saskatchewan agriculture’s ability to meet its share of the Kyoto commitment depends very heavily on the recognition of agricultural soils as sinks. With sinks included, it is estimated that Saskatchewan would have no difficulty in meeting the required reduction of GHG emissions, and could sequester additional carbon for possible credit through mechanisms such as emissions trading. Many of the strategies that involve soils as sinks are also “win-win” strategies. If, however, the international community does not agree to have agricultural soils as sinks included in the credit for reduction, the costs of abatement to Saskatchewan agriculture may be significant.
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