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Testing of a Farm Carbon Calculator

© Annegret Holjewilken


Testing of a Farm Carbon Calculator


This study supported the Joint Research Centre in a pilot project on the "certification of low carbon farming practices in the European Union". An EU-wide survey of data availability for a carbon calculator tool was carried out, along with the testing of the tool and assessment of policy options for promoting its use. The project documents are available for download.

Agriculture plays an important role in climate change mitigation efforts. The direct emissions of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) from agriculture account for around nine percent of total EU-27 emissions. Specifically, agriculture is the most important source of two powerful gases, nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) and contributes to a smaller share of CO2 emissions from land use and from fossil energy. Over the past 20 years, emissions from agriculture have been reduced as a result of increases in productivity and a decline in cattle numbers, as well as improvement in farm management practices and policies. Nonetheless, without additional efforts this downward trend is unlikely to continue. In 2010, The European Parliament asked the European Commission to carry out a pilot project on the "certification of low carbon farming practices in the European Union" to promote reductions of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and to consider all the main contributing factors. This pilot project is being overseen by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission and this study supports the JRC in the pilot project.

Specifically, the study aimed to:

  1. Carry out an EU-wide survey on the availability of data necessary to run the carbon calculator
  2. Test the EU-wide farm carbon calculator
  3. Assess policy options for promoting the use of carbon calculator and the application of low carbon farming practices in the EU.

Ecologic Institute carried out the survey and the testing of the calculator in Germany, Slovenia and Poland. Ecologic Institute is also responsible for the assessment of policy options.


More content from this project

Wageningen University & Research Centre, Alterra (Alterra), Netherlands
Johanna von Toggenburg
Elizabeth Dooley JD, LLM
Project ID
farming practices, soil management, climate change mitigation, greenhouse gas emissions, carbon calculator
Europe, Germany, Slovenia, Poland