Increasing carbon dioxide emissions and related climate effects require mitigation strategies, thereby also emissions caused by agriculture are brought into the focus of political debate. In particular organic soil cultivation, inducing significant CO2 emissions is being discussed more and more. This study aims to answer the question of whether changes of organic soil management can serve as cost-efficient mitigation strategies for climate change. To this end we have built an economic model in which farm-individual and plot-specific CO2-abatement costs of selected landuse strategies are calculated by contrasting effects on the agricultural income with the related reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions. With respect to microeconomic data we use a dataset collected in six German regions while data on emission-factors originates from co-operations with natural-scientific research groups. Results show that CO2-abatement costs vary due to different levels of land-use reorganisation. Reasonable emission reductions are mainly achieved when agricultural intensity is clearly decreased. Agricultural income forgone varies significantly due to production conditions and mitigation strategies. However, even when economic costs are high they may be balanced by high emission reductions and may not result in high abatement costs. Nevertheless, CO2-reductions benefits appear to be social and costs private. Agro-environmental programmes must be implemented to compensate resulting income losses.


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