Edited by Ariel Dinar and Robert Mendelsohn
Chapter 13: The Present and Future Role for Agricultural Projects Under the Clean Development Mechanism
Donald F. Larson, Ariel Dinar and J. Aapris Frisbie INTRODUCTION According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), agriculture accounted for an estimated 5.1 to 6.1 GtCO2e in 2005, or roughly 12 per cent of global anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. At the same time there is a consensus that agriculture’s net contribution to global warming could be greatly reduced, since the sector also provides ample mitigation opportunities – enough to remove or sequester up to 1.6 GtCO2e annually at relatively low carbon prices. Most opportunities identified to date involve the use of agricultural biomass to generate power or involve changes in how agricultural lands are used (Smith et al., 2007). Especially important for mitigation are efforts to restore carbon pools in soil on degraded land. This closely links mitigation in agriculture with development, since most agricultural land-use opportunities are in developing countries where agriculture is an important source of income for the poor. Moreover, projects that sequester carbon in soils also help to reverse declining soil fertility, a root cause of stagnant agricultural productivity in Africa. Under the Kyoto Protocol, countries that have pledged to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases can invest in mitigation projects located in developing countries as a way of fulfilling their treaty obligations. The framework for this type of project investment is the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). In this chapter we examine the types of agricultural projects currently financed under the CDM. We find that most projects have to do with agriculture as a...
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