Carbon smart agriculture: An integrated regional approach offers significant potential to increase profit and resource use efficiency, and reduce emissions

Maraseni, Tek and An-Vo, Duc-Anh ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7528-7139 and Mushtaq, Shahbaz and Reardon-Smith, Kate (2020) Carbon smart agriculture: An integrated regional approach offers significant potential to increase profit and resource use efficiency, and reduce emissions. Journal of Cleaner Production:124555. pp. 1-14. ISSN 0959-6526


Abstract

Climate change is a multifaceted problem impacting social, economic and environmental values. Strategies to reduce climate change impacts require novel and integrated solutions that simultaneously benefit multiple parts of society and minimise potential conflict between economic, food production and environmental values. Here, we use a novel integrated analysis of the energy-water-food nexus, land use, and climate change to explore whether mounting environmental pressure can be reversed without negative consequences on food production and economic outcomes. Using Australia as a test case, our results show the significant potential of optimal use of land and water resources in achieving both increased crop production and reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while sustaining economic outcomes. Our trade-off analysis shows that, at a regional level, up to 50% reduction in GHG emissions from irrigated crop production is possible without compromising total gross margins; in addition, regional optimisation of resource use resulted in surplus water and land available for environmental planting. Our analysis also indicates that further emissions reduction without trade-offs can be achieved with a higher carbon price and/or where water markets ensure higher value water use. To our knowledge, this is the first future-looking modelling to integrate this range of crop production, environmental and economic issues. This type of integrated approach has potential to better inform government emissions reduction policy aimed at finding an equitable and sustainable balance across multiple policy areas.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Applied Climate Sciences (1 Aug 2018 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Applied Climate Sciences (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2020 05:30
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2020 04:14
Uncontrolled Keywords: Agriculture; Integrated trade-off analysis; Greenhouse gas (GHG)Emissions reduction; Mitigation; Adaptation
Fields of Research (2008): 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070103 Agricultural Production Systems Simulation
Fields of Research (2020): 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3002 Agriculture, land and farm management > 300205 Agricultural production systems simulation
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960302 Climate Change Mitigation Strategies
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.124555
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/40108

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