How do 28 European Union Member States perform in agricultural greenhouse gas emissions? It depends on what we look at: Application of the multi-criteria analysis

Elina Dace, Dagnija Blumberga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

European Union (EU) Member States have agreed to limit their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from sectors not covered by the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, including emissions from agricultural sector. The aggregated GHG emission rate (i.e. t CO2 eq. from agricultural sector per country) is commonly used to measure the overall size of agriculture's influence on climate. And indeed, since 2005, EU has managed to decrease its aggregated GHG emissions by 3.1%. However, the question is—does that mean that EU's agriculture has become less emission intensive? This paper answers the question by providing a different perspective for the assessment and comparison of the agricultural GHG emissions in 28 EU Member States. It is done by applying three different approaches, including creation of derived indicators and application of multi-criteria analysis (TOPSIS), which is a novel approach for comparison of agricultural GHG emission mitigation performance. The results show that each EU Member State performs very differently in emission intensities. Even more, the emission intensity results show an alarming tendency of increase in most of the EU Member States, which indicates that the measured changes in aggregate agricultural GHG emission rates are misleading. Therefore, the paper suggests reconsidering the policy targets for GHG emission limits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-358
Number of pages7
JournalEcological Indicators
Volume71
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Agri-environmental indicators
  • Agricultural sector
  • Emission intensity
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Multi-criteria analysis
  • Policy targets
  • TOPSIS

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