Anna Kaye Jones

Project: Identifying and costing climate mitigation options for sheep farmers in England and Wales

Type: PHD

Institution: Bangor University

Report: The mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions in sheep farming systems

The aim of my PhD is to provide an evidence base on the most cost effective greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation options suited to the main sheep farm types found in England and Wales. Specifically to combine modelled emissions savings and cost data to produce marginal abatement cost curves (MACCs) demonstrating which are the most cost effective greenhouse gas mitigation options based upon cost per tonne of carbon saved.

As a starting point towards achieving this I am estimating baseline GHG emissions by visiting sheep farms across England and Wales and asking for details of stock movement and farm inputs. Using these farm level data and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change equations and emissions figures I am calculating the carbon footprints of these farms.

Through reviewing the agricultural climate change literature I have compiled a list of over 80 options for mitigating emissions from sheep farms. This list will be distilled to a shortlist of the most effective and practical options through conducting separate surveys of expert and farmer opinion. Using this shortlist and data on mitigation potentials from the published literature I will be modelling the emission reductions possible through implementing each mitigation option. Potential emissions savings will be modelled against the baseline carbon footprints calculated as part of this project.

Estimates of the likely costs of mitigation options will be made using industry data such as the Farm Business Survey. Cost data and modelled emissions saving will be combined to produce MACCs. These curves will serve as a decision making tool for the industry in determining which are the most cost effective mitigation options for lowland, upland and hill sheep systems.