Cost effectiveness of options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Dutch dairy sector

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Dairy farming contributes significantly to emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG). Approximately two-thirds of the emissions in the Dutch dairy chain occur on farms. The other one-third occurs in the supply and processing sectors. There are many mitigation options. Some cost money, while others save money. Obviously, the latter are the most appealing. The aim of this study was to provide insight into the cost effectiveness of mitigation options in the Dutch dairy chain. At the farm level, a cost/benefit analysis has been conducted for CO2, N2O and CH4, based on available studies and the expertise of the project team. The results have been scaled up to the sector level. Cost-effective options are sometimes implemented autonomously, but often there are farm-specific barriers like ‘uncertainty on the impact’ or ‘lack of current focus’. According to expert judgement, the Dutch dairy chain emission of 16.5 Mton CO2 equivalents can be reduced by 1-2 Mton due to farm measures. If only the cost effective options are considered, approximately 40% of this emission reduction can be realised. About 90% of the options can be implemented at relatively limited costs. The potential reductions in the supply and processing sector are estimated to be, respectively, 1 and 2 Mton CO2 equivalents. By combining options on farm level and in the rest of the dairy chain, a clear reduction in GHG emissions can be attained. Successful implementation of mitigation options benefits from cooperation between all stakeholders: farmers, industry, government agencies, universities and research institutes.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventNCGG7, Amsterdam, the Netherlands -
Duration: 5 Nov 20147 Nov 2014


ConferenceNCGG7, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

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