Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Brazilian agricultural policy could cut global greenhouse gas emissions

29.04.2014

Brazil may be able to curb up to 26% of global greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation by encouraging the intensification of its cattle production, according to a new study from researchers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and international collaborators.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that by subsidizing semi-intensive pasture-based cattle production or taxing conventional pastures Brazil may be able to deliver a substantial cut in global greenhouse gas emissions, even in the absence of a global agreement to prevent deforestation.


Intensifying cattle production in Brazil could reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Credit: David Ozolin via Flickr, Creative Commons License

Brazil is the world's second largest producer of beef and the world's largest exporter of beef. Cattle pastures occupy one quarter of the land surface in Brazil, including as much as 80% of recently deforested land. Brazil has lost more forestland than any other country in the past 20 years. Worldwide, deforestation contributes to as much as 20% of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.

“Climate policies are an investment for governments. One of the major concerns that governments have about making climate policies unilaterally is that the benefits will be canceled out by increased emissions in other countries,” says Tufts University researcher Avery Cohn, who led the study.

Previous studies of Brazilian agriculture have warned that policies to intensify cattle ranching could lower beef prices and increase beef consumption or raise beef prices and increase beef production. Either effect could drive more deforestation in other countries, canceling out any overall reduction in emissions.

“Our study shows that greenhouse gains from pasture intensification policies considerably exceed the losses. Brazil could act alone and still make a major dent in global greenhouse gas emissions,” says IIASA researcher Aline Mosnier, a co-author on the study, which Cohn started as a participant in IIASA’s Young Scientists Summer Program while completing his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley.

The two policies—subsidizing more intensive cattle ranching or taxing conventional pastures would both reduce deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon by about 50% between 2010 and 2030. This would lead to a 25% reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation during that time. Combining the two policies could provide a revenue-neutral way for the Brazilian government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The researchers expanded IIASA’s Global Biosphere Management Model (GLOBIOM) to examine the effects of the two policies both within and beyond Brazil’s borders. GLOBIOM is an economic model of global land use, which is being applied to questions of agriculture, deforestation, and REDD policies around the world.

Previous work by IIASA researchers has shown that more efficient livestock production methods could be an effective method to reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, while improving food security. [http://www.iiasa.ac.at/web/home/about/news/20140225-PNAS.html].

The new study was carried out in collaboration with Tufts University, the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) at the University of California, Berkeley, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), IIASA’s Australian National Member Organization, and University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences in (BOKU) in Vienna.

Reference
Cohn AS, Mosnier A, Havlik P, Valin, H, Herrerro M, Schmid E, O’Hare M, Obersteiner M. (2014). Cattle ranching intensification in Brazil can reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by sparing land from deforestation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1307163111

For more information please contact:
Avery Cohn
Tufts University
Assistant Professor; the Fletcher School
Director; Program in Agriculture and Forests, Center for International Environment and Resource Policy
+1 (510) 410-3731
avery.cohn@tufts.edu

Aline Mosnier
Research Scholar
Ecosystems Services and Management
+43(0) 2236 807 567
mosnier@iiasa.ac.at

Katherine Leitzell
IIASA Press Office
Tel: +43 2236 807 316
Mob: +43 676 83 807 316
leitzell@iiasa.ac.at

About IIASA:
IIASA is an international scientific institute that conducts research into the critical issues of global environmental, economic, technological, and social change that we face in the twenty-first century. Our findings provide valuable options to policy makers to shape the future of our changing world. IIASA is independent and funded by scientific institutions in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Oceania, and Europe. www.iiasa.ac.at

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.iiasa.ac.at/web/home/about/news/20140225-PNAS.html

Katherine Leitzell | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Further reports about: Analysis Cattle IIASA agriculture beef emissions greenhouse reduction

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht New approach for environmental test on livestock drugs
27.07.2016 | Universität Zürich

nachricht Managing an endangered river across the US-Mexico border
18.07.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Streamlining accelerated computing for industry

PyFR code combines high accuracy with flexibility to resolve unsteady turbulence problems

Scientists and engineers striving to create the next machine-age marvel--whether it be a more aerodynamic rocket, a faster race car, or a higher-efficiency jet...

Im Focus: X-ray optics on a chip

Waveguides are widely used for filtering, confining, guiding, coupling or splitting beams of visible light. However, creating waveguides that could do the same for X-rays has posed tremendous challenges in fabrication, so they are still only in an early stage of development.

In the latest issue of Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations and Advances , Sarah Hoffmann-Urlaub and Tim Salditt report the fabrication and testing of...

Im Focus: Piggyback battery for microchips: TU Graz researchers develop new battery concept

Electrochemists at TU Graz have managed to use monocrystalline semiconductor silicon as an active storage electrode in lithium batteries. This enables an integrated power supply to be made for microchips with a rechargeable battery.

Small electrical gadgets, such as mobile phones, tablets or notebooks, are indispensable accompaniments of everyday life. Integrated circuits in the interiors...

Im Focus: UCI physicists confirm possible discovery of fifth force of nature

Light particle could be key to understanding dark matter in universe

Recent findings indicating the possible discovery of a previously unknown subatomic particle may be evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature, according...

Im Focus: Wi-fi from lasers

White light from lasers demonstrates data speeds of up to 2 GB/s

A nanocrystalline material that rapidly makes white light out of blue light has been developed by KAUST researchers.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

The energy transition is not possible without Geotechnics

25.08.2016 | Event News

New Ideas for the Shipping Industry

24.08.2016 | Event News

A week of excellence: 22 of the world’s best computer scientists and mathematicians in Heidelberg

12.08.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Spherical tokamak as model for next steps in fusion energy

25.08.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists identify spark plug that ignites nerve cell demise in ALS

25.08.2016 | Health and Medicine

Secure networks for the Internet of the future

25.08.2016 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>