Selecting land-based mitigation practices to reduce GHG emissions from the rural land use sector: a case study of north east Scotland

Diana Feliciano, Colin John Hunter, Bill Slee, Pete Smith

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    19 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 commits Scotland to reduce GHG emissions by at least 42% by 2020 and 80% by 2050, from 1990 levels. According to the Climate Change Delivery Plan, the desired emission reduction for the rural land use sector (agriculture and other land uses) is 21% compared to 1990, or 10% compared to 2006 levels. In 2006, in North East Scotland, gross greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from rural land uses were about 1599 ktCO2e. Thus, to achieve a 10% reduction in 2020 relative to 2006, emissions would have to decrease to about 1440 ktCO2e. This study developed a methodology to help selecting land-based practices to mitigate GHG emissions at the regional level. The main criterion used was the “full” mitigation potential of each practice. A mix of methods was used to undertake this study, namely a literature review and quantitative estimates. The mitigation practice that offered greatest “full” mitigation potential (≈66% reduction by 2020 relative to 2006) was woodland planting with Sitka spruce. Several barriers, such as economic, social, political and institutional, affect the uptake of mitigation practices in the region. Consequently the achieved mitigation potential of a practice may be lower than its “full” mitigation potential. Surveys and focus groups, with relevant stakeholders, need to be undertaken to assess the real area where mitigation practices can be implemented and the best way to overcome the barriers for their implementation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)93-104
    JournalJournal of Environmental Management
    Volume120
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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