Cost-effective emission abatement in agriculture in the presence of interrelations: cases for the Netherlands and Europe

J.C. Brink, E.C. van Ierland, L. Hordijk, C. Kroeze

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28 Citations (Scopus)


Agriculture contributes to global warming through emissions of nitrous oxide, and methane, and to acidification mainly through emissions of ammonia. Measures to reduce one of these gases may affect emissions of others. Policies neglecting these interrelations may be sub_optimal. This study investigated interrelations between abatement of ammonia, nitrous oxide, and methane from European agriculture. We first studied how emission reduction technologies simultaneously affect the emissions of these three gases. Next, we analyzed for the Netherlands how the costs of emission reduction are affected when these interrelations are included in the analysis. Cost_effectiveness analysis of emission reductions in agriculture in the Netherlands indicates that increased nitrous oxide emissions due to ammonia abatement can be avoided at low cost. Finally we calculated at the European level the side_effects on ammonia emissions and the greenhouse gases nitrous oxide and methane of various emissions scenarios for European agriculture. We estimated that nitrous oxide emissions from European agriculture may increase as a side_effect of ammonia abatement, whereas ammonia emissions may decrease due to nitrous oxide and methane mitigation. The conclusion is that simultaneous reductions in emissions can be realized at lower overall costs using an integrated approach
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-74
JournalEcological Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • nitrous-oxide emissions
  • dairy farming systems
  • ammonia abatement
  • methane
  • impact


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