Cost Effectiveness of peatland management & restoration Andrew Moxey “VNN workshop on assessing & valuing peatland ecosystem services” Presentation on 18/01/2012, Leeds
Basic premise: marbles in jars• Carbon storage in peatlands is significant• Degradation leads to emissions• Avoid emissions by avoiding/repairing degradation• Also maintain/enhance sequestration (+ co-benefits)• Reduce need for other mitigation activities
But, not costless exercises• Up-front capital costs of restoration• On-going management (& monitoring) costs• Displaced activities: opportunity costs• (Possibly) land acquisition costs• Cost-effectiveness vs. other mitigation options?
An illustrative upland example• Upland grip blocking costs c.£240/ha upfront• c.52t CO2e/ha net emission savings over 20 years• c.£450/ha management & monitoring costs• Negligible opportunity & land acquisition costs• c.£13/t CO2e for restoration by grip blocking
Another illustrative upland example• Conservation of near-natural upland site• c.72t CO2e/ha net emission savings over 20 years• c.£450/ha management & monitoring costs• Negligible opportunity & land acquisition costs• c.£6/t CO2e for maintaining a near-natural site
Costs of inaction?• e.g. Not grip-blocking c.2.2mt to address• Greater reliance on other mitigation options• £/t CO2e cost difference depends on options used• e.g. c.+£20m if forestry, c.+£90m if biogas?• But: capacity of other options? missed targets?
But, assumption-dependent• Net emissions from: – a near-natural site? – a degraded site? – a restored site?• Temporal profile and duration of net emissions?• Spatial variation of costs across sites?• Uptake?
Restoration effectiveness & costs• Generalisable or always site-specific?• Different site conditions• Different techniques & management requirements• Scale and halo effects of size of area considered• Non-negligible opportunity costs?
Opportunity costs• Currently generally low for upland agriculture• Higher for lowland agriculture/horticulture• But , vary with: – Site conditions – Farming structure – Policy support (e.g. subsidies, regulatory criteria e.g. “active farmer”?) – Market conditions• Forestry? Renewables? Recreation?
What’s needed?• Monitoring to establish baseline conditions (likely to be expensive unless proxy indicators used)• Collate conservation & restoration trial data (difficult given spatial variation & time-lags)• More detailed assessment of opportunity costs (cost-effectiveness sums; incentive design issues)• Consideration of place in mitigation tool-kit (relative cost-effectiveness; costs of inaction)
Conclusions• Upland marble jars probably cost-effective (...relative position in tool-kit & costs of inaction)• But, likely to vary spatially & temporally• So, targeting needs better geographic data on: – net emissions before & after degradation/restoration – costs of restoration & maintenance (& monitoring) – timing & duration of actions and effects
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