Conference Publication Details
Mandatory Fields
Chiodi, A.; Gargiulo, M.; Ó Gallachóir, B. P.
International Energy Workshop 2012
Climate Change Mitigation - Don't forget about agriculture.
Optional Fields
The European Union (EU) has set ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets for the year 2020 (20% below 1990 levels) and for 2050 (80 – 95% below 1990 levels). Most of the focus and modelling analysis has been on energy-related CO2 emissions, which is understandable as they represent 80% of EU GHG emissions. Agriculture has received less attention and accounts for 9% of EU GHG emissions. Clearly however, as
significant cuts are made in energy-related CO2 emissions, the role of agricultural emissions grows in importance. This paper addresses this gap by modelling a range of future mitigation
scenarios in which agricultural emissions are excluded and included, to illustrate the dangers of ignoring agriculture. The focus is on one EU Member State, Ireland, chosen because (nonenergy emissions in) agriculture represents 29% of GHG emissions, more than three times higher than the EU share. While the focus is on Ireland this analysis could be applied similarly in other EU and non-EU countries. The paper treats separately the short term (to 2020) and longer term (to 2050) targets, as there is i) greater certainty regarding short term targets (there are firm legal instruments in place) and ii) different challenges related to
meeting these targets (due to timeframes and ambition). For 2020 the focus is on GHG emissions that are outside of the EU emissions trading scheme (i.e. non-ETS emissions). The paper compares results for the energy system when ignoring agriculture (i.e. by imposing a 20% reduction on energy-related CO2 non-ETS emissions) with those which take agriculture into account (by imposing a 20% reduction on GHG non-ETS emissions that translates into an imposed 31.5% reduction on energy-related CO2 non-ETS emissions). Similarly for the period 2050, the paper compares results for the energy system when ignoring agriculture
(imposing an 80% reduction on energy-related CO2 emissions) with those which take agriculture into account (by assuming a 50% reduction in agricultural GHG emissions, resulting in a 95% reduction on energy-related CO2 emissions). This analysis is carried using the Irish TIMES model, a bottom-up, technology rich energy systems model. Agriculture emissions projections are exogenous to but not ignored by Irish TIMES. This represents a
first step towards an integrated modelling approach where the agriculture and energy systems will be modelled together to provide overall least cost pathways to climate mitigation.
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