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Reports & Research

Managing Agricultural Land for Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Within The United States


In a report for the United States Department of Agriculture, Climate Change Program Office, ICF assessed the greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation potential of U.S. agriculture, in particular, croplands, manure management systems, and land retirement. ICF evaluated data and assumptions describing how current technologies, practices, and land uses are distributed across U.S. agriculture and estimated how much GHG mitigation would result from adopting alternative technologies and practices for a schedule of CO2e prices. ICF used a Marginal Abatement Cost Curve (MACC) framework to compile the results.

The results provide insights into how much GHG mitigation U.S. agriculture could economically supply at CO2 prices between $0 and $100 per metric ton CO2e, as well as how this mitigation would be distributed across technologies and practices, farm regions, farm sizes, and/or commodities. The mitigation level associated with a CO2 price of $36 per metric ton CO2e is about 93 Teragrams CO2e. This level is a little under 17 percent of U.S. agriculture’s total GHG emissions. Reductions from the agriculture sector would contribute to the United States’ intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) of reducing national GHG emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.