Greenhouse gas abatement in agriculture - Is there a conflict with food security?

David Blandford, Ivar Gaasland, Erling Vårdal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Norway has indicated its desire to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from its domestic agricultural production. At the same time, it stresses the importance of food security as a policy objective and interprets this in terms of maintaining the supply of food calories for consumption from domestic production. Self-sufficiency in major agricultural products is pursued through high levels of support to farmers and import protection. We use a model of Norwegian agriculture to examine the simultaneous pursuit of a reduction in GHG emissions and the food security objective. With a continuation of a self-sufficiency policy, the reduction in emissions would lead to a major reduction in red meat consumption from extensive beef cattle and sheep production. If a production target is combined with a more trade-friendly approach through a reduction in tariffs, the shift away from red meat would be more pronounced. Consumers would gain from lower domestic prices, despite the imposition of a substantial carbon tax. We conclude that commodities that generate the highest GHG emissions are those that are currently the most heavily subsidised, while also representing an economically inefficient way to supply calories, which is the focus of the food security objective in Norway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-41
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


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