Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/4/2011
Publication Date: 6/8/2012
Citation: Reicosky, D.C., Goddard, T., Enerson, D., Chan, A., Liebig, M.A. 2012. Agricultural greenhouse gas trading markets in North America. Book Chapter. p. 423-438. IN: Liebig, M.A., A.J. Franzluebbers, and R.F. Follett (Eds.) Managing agricultural greenhouse gases: Coordinated agricultural research through GRACEnet to address our changing climate. Academic Press, San Diego, CA. Interpretive Summary: Carbon (C) management and an emissions trading system may serve as useful tools to address concerns about climate change and associated environmental impacts. Agriculture occupies an important role in managing C, as many land management practices affect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Limited experience has shown a practical policy approach to reduce GHG emissions across the entire economy through market mechanisms, such as a cap and trade system. Previous voluntary GHG trading systems that have included agricultural management practices have enjoyed success. However, a lack of government adoption of GHG trading systems has curtailed widespread adoption in North America. To be successful, future GHG trading systems need to be transparent, consistent, comparable, accurate, and verifiable.
Technical Abstract: Scientists have assembled evidence of climate change and emphasized its anthropogenic causes. Carbon (C) management and an emissions trading system may be a way to address concerns about climate change and associated environmental impacts. Limited experience has shown a practical policy approach to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the entire economy through market mechanisms, such as a cap and trade system. Putting a price on C can provide powerful incentives for investment in renewable energy, improve economic efficiency, and encourage low C options to market. On the Chicago Climate Exchange voluntary market, C was traded as high as $7.40 per metric ton. Agriculture can play a significant role in managing C for ecosystem services to maintain environmental quality and productivity. While GHG markets in the US and Canada are either emerging or in transition, scientific factors related to GHG impacts on climate and ecosystem services underscore the value of economic/market incentives for mitigating GHG emissions from agriculture. [GRACEnet Publication]