Aligning GHG emission reduction with economic resilience – the case of Science-Based Targets in the dairy sector

Last changed: 21 December 2022

Farmers view both the climate change and economic concerns as their main long-term challenges. This project investigates opportunities to support management of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction in the dairy sector in ways that take into account economic considerations of farmers in decision-support tools and management controls.

Specifically, we study this in the context of an emerging practice of firms in the food and agricultural sector setting science-based targets (SBTs) for GHG emission reduction. SBTs are targets that are in line with what climate science deems necessary to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement – limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

This is a multidisciplinary research project combining the disciplines of management control, accounting and agricultural economics. We apply qualitative and quantitative methods to the analysis of documents, observational-, interview-, and economic experiment data. This is done to fill in the knowledge gaps around GHG emission calculation in decision-making and reporting tools and practices, as well as address needs around SBT-setting and implementation through management controls, including communication nudges and potential incentives acceptable to farmers. Project objectives include:

  • identify remaining needs in farm-level GHG emission calculation, reporting and decision-making to support SBT implementation decisions in a way that enables economic considerations and fits new guidance frameworks (e.g., FLAG SBTs).
  • identify processor-farmer management control tools for SBT implementation.
  • estimate farmers’ willingness to accept identified SBT implementation measures.
  • identify nudges to increase the uptake of SBT measures based on farmers’ social norms.

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