Greenhouse gas emissions for the EU in four future scenarios

18-03-2010 | Publication

The European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will be revised in the near future. A proposed agricultural policy reform will affect many dimensions of the sustainable development of agriculture. One of these dimensions are greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of four scenarios of the future, from the Eururalis study, and the effects of CAP options on GHG emissions from agriculture.

The results provide an indication of the range of GHG emissions between the four diverging base scenarios and the differences with current emission levels in Member States and on EU level. Analysis of the possible impact of the measures on GHG emissions showed that this would be much larger from mitigation measures than from CAP options.

Full implementation of the mitigation measures could lead to a reduction in GHG emissions from agriculture of 127 Mt CO2 equivalents. This is about a quarter of current GHG emissions from agriculture. Promoting mitigation measures, therefore, is more effective for reducing GHG emissions from agriculture, than influencing income and price subsidies within the CAP.

On the global scale, CAP options hardly play a role in total GHG emissions from land use. Much more important are developments in global population, economic growth, policies and technological developments, as depicted in the various scenarios.

This study is performed within the framework of the programme Scientific Assessment and Policy Analysis for Climate Change (WAB).