Reduction of nitrogen pollution in agriculture through nitrogen surplus quotas: an analysis of individual marginal abatement cost and different quota allocation schemes using an agent-based model

Alena Schmidt*, Gabriele Mack, Stefan Mann, Johan Six

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Nitrogen (N) pollution has mostly been controlled using command-and-control instruments. However, nitrogen surplus permits (NSPs), which are tradeable, can be more cost-efficient in addressing the problem. To model this instrument, we calculated the individual marginal abatement cost curve for a sample of about 3,400 Swiss farms using farm-optimization models implemented in the agent-based agricultural sector model SWISSland. We also used SWISSland to analyze the effects of two NSP distribution systems (grandfathering and land-based allocation) on different farm types. The results showed that different farm types range in their abatement costs to reduce N surplus from an average of −0.04 CHF kg−1 N on arable farms to 51.06 CHF kg−1 N on special crop farms. We also found that N surpluses hardly explain the level of abatement costs. The biggest differences in effects of the distribution scheme were found in intensive livestock farm types such as pig or poultry farms.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Nov 2020

Keywords

  • agent-based modeling
  • marginal abatement cost (MAC)
  • N surplus
  • permit
  • Switzerland

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Reduction of nitrogen pollution in agriculture through nitrogen surplus quotas: an analysis of individual marginal abatement cost and different quota allocation schemes using an agent-based model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this