Marginal Abatement Cost Curves for UK Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Dominic Moran*, Michael Macleod, Eileen Wall, Vera Eory, Alistair McVittie, Andrew Barnes, Robert Rees, Cairistiona F. E. Topp, Andrew Moxey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article addresses the challenge of developing a 'bottom-up' marginal abatement cost curve (MACC) for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from UK agriculture. An MACC illustrates the costs of specific crop, soil and livestock abatement measures against a 'business as usual' scenario. The results indicate that in 2022 under a specific policy scenario, around 5.38 Mt CO(2) equivalent (e) could be abated at negative or zero cost. A further 17% of agricultural GHG emissions (7.85 Mt CO(2)e) could be abated at a lower unit cost than the UK Government's 2022 shadow price of carbon [34 pound (tCO(2)e)-1]. The article discusses a range of methodological hurdles that complicate cost-effectiveness appraisal of abatement in agriculture relative to other sectors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-118
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of agricultural economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


  • Agriculture
  • climate change
  • marginal abatement costs
  • Q52
  • Q54
  • Q58


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