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Down scaling to regional assessment of greenhouse gas emissions to enable consistency in accounting for emissions reduction projects and national inventory accounts for northern beef production in Australia

Eady, Sandra J. and Havard, Guillaume and Bray, Steven G. and Holmes, William and Navarro, Javi (2016) Down scaling to regional assessment of greenhouse gas emissions to enable consistency in accounting for emissions reduction projects and national inventory accounts for northern beef production in Australia. The Rangeland Journal, 38 (3). p. 219. ISSN 1036-9872

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/RJ15061

Abstract

This paper explores the effect of using regional data for livestock attributes on estimation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the northern beef industry in Australia, compared with using state/territory-wide values, as currently used in Australia’s national GHG inventory report. Regional GHG emissions associated with beef production are reported for 21 defined agricultural statistical regions within state/territory jurisdictions. A management scenario for reduced emissions that could qualify as an Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) project was used to illustrate the effect of regional level model parameters on estimated abatement levels. Using regional parameters, instead of state level parameters, for liveweight (LW), LW gain and proportion of cows lactating and an expanded number of livestock classes, gives a 5.2% reduction in estimated emissions (range +12% to –34% across regions). Estimated GHG emissions intensity (emissions per kilogram of LW sold) varied across the regions by up to 2.5-fold, ranging from 10.5 kg CO2-e kg–1 LW sold for Darling Downs, Queensland, through to 25.8 kg CO2-e kg–1 LW sold for the Pindan and North Kimberley, Western Australia. This range was driven by differences in production efficiency, reproduction rate, growth rate and survival. This suggests that some regions in northern Australia are likely to have substantial opportunities for GHG abatement and higher livestock income. However, this must be coupled with the availability of management activities that can be implemented to improve production efficiency; wet season phosphorus (P) supplementation being one such practice. An ERF case study comparison showed that P supplementation of a typical-sized herd produced an estimated reduction of 622 t CO2-e year–1, or 7%, compared with a non-P supplemented herd. However, the different model parameters used by the National Inventory Report and ERF project means that there was an anomaly between the herd emissions for project cattle excised from the national accounts (13 479 t CO2-e year–1) and the baseline herd emissions estimated for the ERF project (8 896 t CO2-e year–1) before P supplementation was implemented. Regionalising livestock model parameters in both ERF projects and the national accounts offers the attraction of being able to more easily and accurately reflect emissions savings from this type of emissions reduction project in Australia’s national GHG accounts.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Animal Science
Keywords:carbon farming, phosphorus supplementation
Deposited On:04 Aug 2016 05:48
Last Modified:04 Aug 2016 05:48

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