AERU AGRICULTURE & ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH UNIT
 

Measuring the Extent to Which Greenhouse Gas Emission Savings Achieved by Environmental Stewardship are Displaced

Environmental Stewardship (ES) is an agri-environment scheme that provides funding to farmers and other land managers in England to deliver effective environmental management on their land. The scheme is a part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) which implements the EU Rural Development Regulation (RDR) and Pillar 2 of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The Programme is jointly funded by the EU through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the UK Government. Environmental Stewardship is open to all farmers and land managers across England, providing farmers and land managers with a financial incentive that supports and rewards them, through voluntary management agreements, for looking after England’s countryside and its wildlife, landscapes, historic features and natural resources (soils and water) and for providing new opportunities for public access. Applicants for an ES agreement select specific management activities from a wide range of available options. Each option carries a points score and a minimum total score must be achieved for scheme eligibility. Many of the available options offer opportunities for mitigating the effects of climate change either by reducing greenhouse gas emissions or by increasing carbon sequestration.

Natural England require a study to be undertaken to investigate how farmers respond to the uptake of options that reduce GHG emissions by reducing inputs or alternative land management strategies. Research questions include: Do farmers intensify elsewhere or improve the efficiency of their input use? Does uptake of these options cause a noticeable reduction in production levels, giving rise to the potential for emissions displacement? These questions will be addressed through the assessment of a number of farm case studies that include land entered into priority greenhouse gas mitigation Environmental Stewardship option agreements.

Contact

Dr Doug Warner

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University of Hertfordshire, 2017.