This report looks at options for reducing the greenhouse gas emissions from Scottish Farms. It analyses a range of options across changes in management of fertiliser, soil and manure, livestock feeding and energy use. Some of these changes require an investment in new tools, equipment or other installations on farm.

The analysis indicates that the 20 technology options considered could reduce emissions by between 9 and 150 kt CO2e GHG annually if they were implemented to their fullest potential across Scotland. Doing this would also have other positive environmental effects (e.g. with regards to soil or water quality). 

The report recommends use of complementary incentive mechanisms to encourage uptake of the technologies. These could include:

  • increased emphasis on these technologies in extension services or mechanisms;
  • support for collaborative implementation of the technologies;
  • foot printing/accounting schemes for validating and signalling on-farm and supply chain progress; and
  • a comprehensive approach to each stage of the supply chain. 

ClimateXChange researchers presented the cost and potential of carbon abatement from the UK perennial energy crop market at a workshop supported by WholeSEM (Whole System Energy Modelling), a new RCUK funded collaboration between UCL, Surrey, Imperial and Cambridge.

The initiative aims to understand:
– How energy demand co-evolves with changes in practice, supply, and policy
– How the endogenous, uncertain, and path dependent process of technological change will impact future energy systems
– How the energy supply-demand system can be optimised over multiple energy vectors and infrastructures
– What are the major future physical and economic interactions and stresses between the energy system and the broader environment.

Useful links

This brief identifies abatement measures for the agriculture sector further to those in the first Report on Proposals and Policies (RPP1). Through an initial quantification the brief also ranks these measures in terms of how likely they may be to be included in the time horizon of the second Report on Proposals and Policies (RPP2).

The report analyses the maximum technical potential abatement that could be achieved from these measures, and does not take account of real-world constraints which mean that these theoretical abatement levels are unlikely to be achievable in practice.

The interest in identifying this extra potential arose from the challenge of achieving Scotland’s emissions reductions aims for the time horizon of RPP2.

ClimateXChange produced this brief early in the preparation of the second Report on Proposals and Policies. Its purpose was to help frame questions and lines of enquiry and as a result, did not fully take account of real-world constraints (economic, political, social, institutional) that mean that these theoretical abatement levels are unlikely to be achievable in practice. ClimateXChange produced these reports in early 2012, and some of the figures presented may have since been updated.