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A method for calculating a land-use change carbon footprint (LUC-CFP) for agricultural commodities: applications to Brazilian beef and soy, Indonesian palm oil
Physical Resource Theory, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Department of Water and Environmental Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research.
Physical Resource Theory, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden.
2014 (English)In: Global Change Biology, ISSN 1354-1013, E-ISSN 1365-2486, Vol. 20, no 11, 3482-3491 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The world’s agricultural system has come under increasing scrutiny recently as an important driver of global climate change, creating a demand for indicators that estimate the climatic impacts of agricultural commodities. Such carbon footprints (CFPs), however, have in most cases excluded emissions from land‐use change (LUC) and the proposed methodologies for including this significant emissions source suffer from different shortcomings. Here we propose a new methodology for calculating land‐use change carbon footprints (LUC‐CFPs) for agricultural commodities and illustrate this methodology by applying it to three of the most prominent agricultural commodities driving tropical deforestation: Brazilian beef and soybeans, and Indonesian palm oil. We estimate LUCCFPs in 2010 to be 66 tCO2/tCW for Brazilian beef, 0.9 tCO2/t for Brazilian soybeans, and 8.6 tCO2/t for Indonesian palm oil. The main advantage of the proposed methodology is its flexibility: it can be applied in a tiered approach, using detailed data where it is available while still allowing for estimation of LUC‐CFPs for a broad set of countries and agricultural commodities; it can be applied at different scales, estimating both national and sub‐national LUC‐CFPs; it can be adopted to account both for direct (proximate) and indirect drivers of LUC. It is argued that with an increasing commercialization and globalization of the drivers of land‐use change, LUC‐CFPs could help leverage the power needed to alter environmentally destructive land‐use practices within the global agricultural system by providing a tool for assessing the environmental impacts of production, thereby informing consumers about the impacts of consumption and incentivizing producers to become more environmentally responsible.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley , 2014. Vol. 20, no 11, 3482-3491 p.
Keyword [en]
Carbon footprint, land use change, deforestation, Brazil, Indonesia, beef, soybeans, palm oil
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Climate Research
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-104782DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12635ISI: 000343762800016PubMedID: 24838193OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-104782DiVA: diva2:699021
Available from: 2014-02-26 Created: 2014-02-26 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. To leak or not to leak?: Land‐Use Displacement and Carbon Leakage from Forest Conservation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>To leak or not to leak?: Land‐Use Displacement and Carbon Leakage from Forest Conservation
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Att läcka eller inte läcka? : Markanvändningsförskjutning och kolläckage från skogsbevarande åtgärder
Abstract [en]

This thesis investigates the question how emissions from land‐use displacement can be assessed and accounted for, using the example of carbon‐leakage accounting in the planned UNFCCC mechanism on ‘Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation’ (REDD). REDD serves here as example of an international forest conservation policy that might be effective locally but could lead to displacement of deforestation to other countries. Although leakage processes within countries are initially considered, the focus of the thesis is on international displacement effects. The first part of the thesis reviews existing accounting methods for land‐use displacement from different research fields and assesses their usefulness to quantify carbon leakage from REDD. Results show that it is very difficult to assess policy‐induced (or strong) carbon leakage due to the requirement to demonstrate causal links between the policy in question and the observed land‐use changes, especially at international scale. Other accounting methods focus on demand‐driven (or weak) carbon leakage, by establishing a link between international demand and consumption patterns and land‐use changes as their  distant effects. Methods to quantify such teleconnections commonly combine land‐use accounting with tradeflow assessments to link international trade streams and consumption with environmental impacts such as land use or land‐use changes arising in the production of traded commodities. A methodological challenge is currently the quantification of emissions from land‐use change generated by distant linkages between production and consumption locations. Responding to this shortcoming, in the second part of the thesis a new method to assess these teleconnections is developed. The ‘land‐use change carbon footprint’ allows quantifying the extent to which landuse changes and associated emissions in a given country are promoted by the production of export goods, and thus are due to international demand for ‐ and consumption of ‐ forest‐risk commodities. The understanding of such distant deforestation drivers can be useful in several contexts, such as the design of conservation policies like REDD, which risk being less effective as globalized deforestation drivers pose a high risk for international leakages; or the planning of demand‐side measures that could complement supply‐side action in decreasing global deforestation levels. Demand‐side measures, such as zero‐deforestation embargos, regulations or certification schemes, could eventually contribute to decrease the risk for international land‐use displacement by addressing global consumption levels and commodity demand as one of the underlying driving forces of land‐use change and deforestation.

Abstract [sv]

Avhandlingen undersöker hur utsläpp av växthusgaser, genererade genom en förskjutning av markanvändning, kan bedömas och redovisas. Detta exemplifieras genom analys av UNFCCC’s mekanism ”Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation ‐ REDD”. REDD betraktas här som ett exempel på en internationell skogsskyddspolicy som kan fungera effektivt på lokal nivå, men som ändå kan leda till förskjutning av avskogningen till andra länder. Den första delen av avhandlingen analyserar befintliga  redovisningsmetoder för förskjutning av markanvändning från olika forskningsområden och bedömer deras användbarhet när det gäller kvantifiering av koldioxidläckage från REDD. Resultaten visar att det är mycket svårt att bedöma policy‐genererat koldioxidläckage på grund av kravet att påvisa orsakssamband mellan policyn i fråga och de observerade förändringarna av markanvändningen. Andra redovisningsmetoder fokuserar på såkallade teleconnections, genom att upprätta en länk mellan internationell konsumtionsmönster och miljöpåverkan (t.ex. effekter på global markanvändning) som uppstår på grund av produktion av handelsvaror. Metoder för att bedöma sådant efterfrågestyrt koldioxidläckage brukar kombinera markanvändnings‐redovisning med bedömningar av handelsflöde för att knyta ihop internationella konsumtion med globala förändringar av markanvändningen. För närvarande är den metodologiska utmaningen att kvantifiera utsläppen från en förändrad markanvändning till följd av teleconnections. Ett förslag på en  metodlösning utvecklas inom den andra delen av avhandlingen. Indikatorn "land‐use change carbon footprint (LUC‐CFP) som kan kopplas med handelsflödesanalys ger möjlighet att kvantifiera i vilken utsträckning en förändrad markanvändning och tillhörande utsläpp i ett visst land främjas av produktionen av exportvaror. Därmed visas hur internationell efterfrågan och konsumtion av produkter fungerar som drivkraft bakom avskogning. Förståelsen för dessa globala drivkrafter kan vara användbar i flera sammanhang. Exempel är utformningen av bevarandepolicies som REDD, vilka riskerar att bli mindre effektiv när globaliserade drivkrafter bakom avskogning utgör en hög risk för internationellt läckage; eller planeringen av policyåtgärder från efterfrågesidan. Genom att ta itu med globala konsumtionsnivåer och efterfrågan på handelsvaror, som är en av de bakomliggande drivkrafterna för avskogning, kan man så småningom bidra till att minska risken för internationellt förskjutning av markanvändning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. 62 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 608
Keyword
Climate change, land‐use change and deforestation, accounting methods, consumer and producer responsibility, REDD+, Klimatförändring, markanvändning och avskogning, redovisningsmetoder, konsument‐ och producentansvaret; REDD+
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-104784 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-104784 (DOI)978-91-7519-400-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-03-15, Önnesjösalen, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Linköpings universitet, Norrköping, 10:33 (Swedish)
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-02-26 Created: 2014-02-26 Last updated: 2015-06-02Bibliographically approved

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