Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Photo credit: KevinLallier via Flickr/Creative Commons

Photo credit: KevinLallier via Flickr/Creative Commons

The impact of greenhouse gas offsets in Indian agriculture will come under the microscope in a major three-year research project led by economists from Australia.

The project, a collaboration between Monash University, the NSW government and Indian and American researchers will explore how policy reform in India’s agricultural sector might contribute to national emission reduction targets.

Co-lead researcher Professor Sisira Jayasuriya from the Monash Centre for Development Economics said the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in a cost effective manner had become a central challenge for both developed and rapidly growing countries such as India and China.

“The Indian Government recently announced an aggressive GHG emissions intensity target of reducing emissions by 20 to 25 per cent by 2020 on 2005 levels,” Professor Jayasuriya said.

“Policymakers now face the challenge of developing and implementing policy options consistent with this target.”

The researchers have to find ways of exploiting low-cost reduction opportunities in sectors like agriculture, while also minimising the cost of emission reduction targets on India’s growing energy and industry sectors to not slow economic growth.

Professor Jayasuriya and Professor Peter Dixon, from the Centre of Policy Studies will work with economists from the NSW Department of Trade and Investment and the USA’s International Food Policy Research Institute, as well as researchers from leading Indian institutions, the National Council of Applied Economic Research and the Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation.

“The research aims to develop policies and programs targeted at the early exploitation of the most cost-effective GHG abatement options within Indian agriculture,” Professor Jayasuriya said.

“The project outcomes will also have international implications, showing how agriculture can play a central role in GHG abatement in emerging and developed economies alike.”

The project is sponsored by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.