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Abstract

Roughly 4.9% of the German utilized agricultural area is located on organic soils (fens and bogs). Nevertheless, the drainage of these areas in order to allow their agricultural utilization causes roughly a third of the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) of the German agricultural sector, being equivalent to 2.3% of the total German GHG emissions. Obviously, German policies trying to reduce the GHG emissions successfully must tackle this issue. The abandonment of the cultivation of organic soils would be an effective policy to reduce the GHG emissions however the question remains whether it is an efficient measure compared with the other options? In the paper we assess the mitigation costs on the basis of the standard gross margin and tenure of the agriculturally used peatlands and with the sector model RAUMIS. Without engineering and transaction costs the mitigation costs are below 50 € per Mg CO2eq. This makes rewetting of peatlands at least in the medium and long run a fairly efficient options for reducing GHG emissions, especially as the implications on the sector due to reallocation affects are fairly small.

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