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GEOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND LANDSCAPES 2020, VOL. 4, NO. 4, 282–287 INWASCON https://doi.org/10.1080/24749508.2019.1694129 RESEARCH ARTICLE Contemporary changes of greenhouse gases emission from the agricultural sector in the EU-27 a b a a Safwan Mohammed , Karam Alsafadi , István Takács and Endre Harsányi Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences and Environmental Management, Institute of Land Use, Technology and Regional Development, University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary; Faculty of Arts, Department of Geography and GIS, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt ABSTRACT ARTICLE HISTORY Received 18 May 2019 The agricultural sector is the second contributor to the worldwide emissions of greenhouse Accepted 16 October 2019 gases (GHGs), as it is responsible for 13.5% of GHG emissions. The main aim of this research is to track GHG emission from the agricultural sector in the EU-27 between 1990 and 2016 in order KEYWORDS to determine trends and changes of emission on a country scale. To achieve the study goal, Carbon dioxide (CO ); data were collected from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development climate change; land use; (OECD) website, followed by the application of the Simple Linear Regression Model (SLRM). methane (CH ); EU The obtained results showed that most of the EU-27 countries witnessed a signiﬁcant reduction of GHG emissions from the agricultural sector, except for Iceland and Spain. Interestingly, the highest reduction conducted by the United Kingdom was followed by Germany and France, where the reduction reached 385.27; 226.72 and 294.92 tons of CO -equivalent per year, respectively. Thus, we can conclude that most EU countries signiﬁcantly reduced GHG emis- sions to the atmosphere. 1. Introduction (Herzog, 2005). Interestingly, 20% of CO ; 70% of CH 2 4 and 90% of N O in the atmosphere were released from Nowadays, climate change has become one of the diﬀerent activities in the agricultural sector (Cole et al., challenging issues humanity is facing, where green- 1997; Youseﬁ, Damghani, & Khoramivafa, 2016). house gases (GHGs) of anthropogenic origin are con- Moreover, Oertel, Matschullat, Zurba, Zimmermann, sidered to be the main responsible factor for this and Erasmi (2016) reported that 35% of CO ; 47% of disaster (Arora et al., 2018; Hongguang, Weidong, CH and 53% of N O of the total agricultural GHGs 4 2 Xiaomei, & Zhipeng, 2012; Majumder, Islam, & originated from the soil. Hossain, 2019; Mohammed, Mousavi, Alsafadi, & Globally, a set of measures and many international Bramdeo, 2019). The main damaging role of GHGs agreements (i.e., Kyoto Protocol 1997) had been taken can be summarized by retaining infrared radiation in to reduce emissions of GHG all over the world, where the Earth’s atmosphere which caused a rise in the the developed countries asked to minimize their emis- average of the Earth’s temperature. sion by 25% to 40% before 2020. Thus, the UK GHGs are mainly composed of 76% carbon dioxide launched the concept of low-carbon economy in (CO ), 16% methane (CH ); 6% nitrous oxide (N O); 2 4 2 2003 and was since followed by Germany, Japan and and 2% combination of hydroﬂuorocarbons (HFCs), the United States (Zi & Zhenyao, 2011). perﬂuorocarbons (PFCs) and sulfur hexaﬂuoride In the recent decades, many researchers all around (SF6) (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change the world have studied the relation between the agri- (IPCC), 2013; Arora et al. (2018); Raﬁq, Rasheed, cultural sector and GHG emission. McCarl and Arslan, Tallat, & Siddique, 2018). Interestingly, the Schneider (2001) argued that interdependencies Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of crop and livestock management could play (2013) estimated the increased concentration of CO , asigniﬁcant role in GHG mitigation in the United CH , and N O from 1750 to 2012 by 41.07%; 163.21% 4 2 States. Similarly, Burney, Davis, and Lobell (2010) and 42.29%, respectively. There were many reasons recommended investing in crop production and yield behind this rapid increase of GHGs such as fossil improvement as a good strategy for reducing future fuel consumption, deforestation, and land use changes GHG emissions. Tubiello et al. (2013) detected an (Scott et al., 2018). Generally, energy sectors are increase in GHGs from the agricultural sector by 1.1% responsible for more than 66.5% of GHG, while each year from 2000 to 2010 all around the world. 13.5% of the GHG originated from agricultural sector CONTACT Safwan Mohammed email@example.com Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences and Environmental Management, Institute of Land Use, Technology and Regional Development, University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group on behalf of the International Water, Air & Soil Conservation Society(INWASCON). This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. GEOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND LANDSCAPES 283 The EU-27 countries are members of the United 100000 Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Germany Netherlands Spain (UNFCCC) where they committed to keep the net emissions by 10% increase beyond 1990 levels (i.e., Kyoto Protocol commitment). Thus, the aim of this paper is to track GHG emissions from the agricultural sector in the EU-27 between 1990 and 2016 in order to determine trends and changes of emission at a country level. Accordingly, the question being addressed is “what is the trend of GHG emission in the EU-27 United between 1990 and 2016?” France Italy Poland Kingdom 2. Methods 25000 Belgium Denmark Finland Hungary Ireland The Simple Linear Regression Model (SLRM) can be deﬁned as follows: Y ¼ β þ αX where: Y: dependent variable, X: independent variable, ẞ; ᾳ: regression coeﬃcients This model has been applied to estimate the GHG emission trend for 27 years (i.e., between 1990–2016), depending on second- ary data collected from the Organization for Economic Czech Austria Republic Estonia Greece Iceland Co-operation and Development (OECD) website (https://stats.oecd.org/), for the EU-27. Meanwhile, statistical analysis was performed for Lithuania Norway Slovak Sweden each country using Excel STAT software. The analysis Republic included central tendency (mean), dispersion (stan- dard deviation and coeﬃcient of variation), and dis- tribution (skewness and kurtosis). 3. Results 4000 3.1. Statistical analysis of GHG emissions for the EU-27 The statistical analysis of GHG emissions for the EU- 27 shows that France has the highest emission, while Latvia Luxembourg Portugal Slovenia Switzerland Iceland has the lowest emission in the studied time Figure 1. Boxplot analysis of GHGs emissions for the EU-27. series as can be seen in Figure 1. Low coeﬃcient of variation CV% was recorded in all the studied coun- reached 0.3633 and 21.112 tons of CO -equivalent tries, while kurtosis values range from 8.2 to −1.7, 2 per year, respectively. Figure 2 illustrates the change associated with skewed values which range between of GHG emissions in the agricultural sector in 1990 2.9 and −0.6, as can be seen in Table 1. and 2016, where most countries have signiﬁcant reduction, while Figure 3 demonstrates emission 3.2. Trends of GHG emissions for the EU-27 changes from each country between 1990 and 2016. Trends analysis of GHG emissions showed that most of the EU-27 countries witnessed a signiﬁcant reduc- 4. Discussion tion of GHG emissions from the agricultural sector, except for Iceland and Spain, as can be seen in Table 2. Generally, agriculture is one of the main sectors that Interestingly, the highest reduction conducted by the contributed signiﬁcantly in the total GHG emission United Kingdom was followed by Germany and and many other environmental impacts such as glo- France, where the reduction reached 385.27; 226.72 bal warming, soil acidiﬁcation, air pollution and and 294.92 tons of CO -equivalent per year, respec- water quality (Leip et al., 2015). At a global scale, tively. Iceland and Spain also recorded a reduction Tubiello et al. (2013)reportedayearly increaseof that was not of signiﬁcance, where the reduction average emission by 1.6% per year from 1961 to 2010, Tonnes of CO2-equivalent Tonnes of CO2-equivalent Tonnes of CO2-equivalent 284 S. MOHAMMED ET AL. Table 1. Statistical analysis of GHG emissions for the EU-27. Statistic Mini Max Mean SD (n) CV Sk Ku Austria 7062.8 8225.1 7447.9 356.8 0.0 0.7 −0.7 Belgium 9897.1 12,362.6 11,056.8 959.4 0.1 0.2 −1.7 Czech Republic 7411.9 15,898.1 8938.4 1943.2 0.2 2.3 4.7 Denmark 10,385.8 12,710.8 11,255.5 738.4 0.1 0.5 −1.1 Estonia 1021.5 2664.8 1354.3 413.3 0.3 2.2 3.7 Finland 6375.3 7525.5 6605.9 241.3 0.0 2.2 5.3 Greece 7846.0 10,163.7 9028.0 595.5 0.1 −0.2 −0.2 Hungary 5635.7 9878.2 6396.0 855.4 0.1 2.9 8.2 Iceland 543.7 628.6 585.4 18.9 0.0 −0.2 0.2 Ireland 17,267.2 21,027.2 19,125.6 995.7 0.1 0.0 −0.8 Latvia 2197.5 5612.3 2744.8 838.0 0.3 2.5 5.2 Lithuania 3883.5 8934.7 4800.3 1269.1 0.3 2.5 5.1 Luxembourg 674.8 783.8 728.1 29.7 0.0 −0.1 −1.1 Norway 4310.3 4808.8 4558.4 146.0 0.0 0.0 −1.2 Portugal 6578.4 7506.9 6940.1 267.4 0.0 0.4 −1.2 Slovak Republic 2334.9 6068.4 3117.4 881.5 0.3 1.9 3.2 Slovenia 1666.5 1933.1 1792.9 69.3 0.0 0.3 −0.4 Sweden 6653.5 7905.0 7256.1 366.0 0.1 0.1 −1.2 Switzerland 5912.3 6672.3 6144.7 214.9 0.0 1.2 0.1 France 76,245.2 83,727.1 79,872.2 2170.1 0.0 0.1 −1.1 Germany 61,771.8 79,398.0 66,240.7 3459.4 0.1 2.0 5.3 Italy 29,242.6 35,728.7 32,853.0 2142.5 0.1 −0.2 −1.4 Netherlands 17,547.8 25,378.6 20,589.2 2795.2 0.1 0.6 −1.3 New Zealand 34,476.8 40,161.2 37,776.8 1729.0 0.0 −0.6 −0.8 Poland 29,354.2 47,155.6 32,457.0 3926.4 0.1 2.1 5.0 Spain 31,843.1 39,712.8 35,243.4 2297.1 0.1 0.4 −1.0 United Kingdom 41,225.8 50,000.6 45,270.1 3205.5 0.1 0.2 −1.6 SD: Standard deviation; CV: Coeﬃcient of variation; Sk: Skewness (Pearson); Ku: Kurtosis. Table 2. Trends analysis of GHG emissions for the EU-27. Country Regressions Model Trend ᾳ R Sig. Austria y = −40.084x + 87.736 - −40.084 0.7657 ** Belgium y = −115.08x + 241.568 - −115.08 0.8729 ** Czech Republic y = −180.91x + 371.292 - −180.91 0.5258 ** Denmark y = −91.302x + 194.133 - −91.302 0.9275 ** Estonia y = −28.772x + 58.984 - −28.772 0.294 ** Finland y = −20.855x + 48.379 - −20.855 0.4531 ** France y = −226.72x + 533.991 - −226.72 0.6621 ** Germany y = −294.92x + 656.957 - −294.92 0.4409 ** Greece y = −71.967x + 153.178 - −71.967 0.8859 ** Hungary y = −44.828x + 96.187 - −44.828 0.1666 ** Iceland y = −0.3633x + 1313 - −0.3633 0.0224 - Ireland y = −89.786x + 198.967 - −89.786 0.4933 ** Italy y = −264.89x + 563.43 - −264.89 0.9273 ** Latvia y = −57.765x + 118.447 - −57.765 0.2883 ** Lithuania y = −93.325x + 191.730 - −93.325 0.3281 ** Luxembourg y = −2.3017x + 5338.5 - −2.3017 0.365 ** Netherlands y = −324.19x + 669.940 - −324.19 0.816 ** Norway y = −16.36x + 37.328 - −16.36 0.7619 ** Poland y = −384.32x + 802.259 - −384.32 0.5812 ** Portugal y = −25.193x + 57.401 - −25.193 0.5384 ** Slovak Republic y = −90.79x + 184.969 - −90.79 0.6435 ** Slovenia y = −6.1503x + 14.112 - −6.1503 0.4776 ** Spain y = −21.112x + 77.532 - −21.112 0.0051 - Sweden y = −38.568x + 84.508 - −38.568 0.6737 ** Switzerland y = −20.975x + 48.158 - −20.975 0.578 ** United Kingdom y = −385.27x + 816.956 - −385.27 0.8764 ** ** signiﬁcant at conﬁdence level of 99% reaching 4.6 GtCO per year in 2010. However, more equivalents on sandy arable soils to 25 Mg on organic than 42% of EU lands are used for agricultural prac- soils (Freibauer, 2003). On the other hand, Freibauer, tices, revealing the role of the agricultural system, Rounsevell, Smith, and Verhagen (2004)reported practice, and productions in the carbon cycle and that European soils can sequester up to 16–19 Mt other GHG emission. In 2003, the contribution of C per year, which is less than 2% of the equivalent the agricultural sector in Europe reached 11% of the to 2% of European anthropogenic emissions. total emission (Freibauer, 2003), where the emission However, Ciais et al. (2010)highlighted that,due to can be divided into many sectors such as agricultural intensifying agriculture in Eastern Europe as well as soils and livestock sectors. GHG emission from EU western Europe, N O emissions will become the soils varies from 0.7 Mg ha-1 per year CO - main source of concern for the impact of European 2 GEOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND LANDSCAPES 285 Figure 2. GHGs emission from the agricultural sector in 1990 and 2016 for the EU-27. agriculture on climate. Interestingly, livestock pro- Agnarsson, 2010). Consequently, many reasons could duction systems occupied around 65% of the explain the results of Tables 1 and 2. For example, in European Union’s agricultural land (Leip et al., France, nuclear power is the main supplier of energy, 2015), wheretheEU-27members produce26%, thus the total GHG emissions are low, but having 13%, 22% of the world’smilk, beef,pork(Lesschen, a large agricultural sector, the reduction of GHGs Van den Berg, Westhoek, Witzke, & Oenema, 2011); from this sector was essential for policy-makers for and the dairy sector has the highest GHG emission in achieving a signiﬁcant total accumulated reduction in the EU-27, followed by the beef sector. 2020 (De Cara & Jayet, 2000). Similarly, the agricul- Hence, Verge, De Kimpe, and Desjardins (2007) tural sector in Germany contributed by 52% and 34% expected the worldwide total GHG emissions from the to the total N O and CH emissions in Germany. 2 4 agricultural sector to increase by about 50%. Our ana- However, launching the climate protection program lyses reveal a negative trend of GHG emission from the in Germany led to reducing CO emissions by 25% agricultural sector in most of the EU-27 countries (Flessa et al., 2002), which supports our obtained (Table 2, Figure 2), which can be explained by the results in Table 2 and Figure 2. On the contrary, impact of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) emissions from the agricultural sector in Iceland reform, where agricultural inputs were optimized: were relatively high due to land use, land use changes between 1990 and 2000, N O emissions decreased and forestry (LULUCF), which signiﬁcantly contribu- from 74 to 73 Tg CO equivalent (Verge et al., 2007). ted to GHG emission (Davíðsdóttir & Agnarsson, Even though each of the EU-27 countries has its 2010). In Spain, the Ministry of Agriculture indicated own regulations and policies related to the agricultural a steady increase of CO emission due to increased sector and energy management, GHG emissions can population associated with expands of diﬀerent be driven from the same sources (Davíðsdóttir & demands (Vargas-Amelin & Pindado, 2014). 286 S. MOHAMMED ET AL. Programme of the Ministry of Human Capacities in Hungary, within the framework of the four thematic pro- gramme of the University of Debrecen, and the projects “GINOP-2.2.1-15-2016-00001- Developing a scale- independent complex precision consultancy system” and “EFOP-3.6.3-VEKOP-16-2017-00008” for unlimited sup- port. Sincerely thanks also go to Mr. Gyula Vasvár for his technical support. The authors expresse their sincere thanks to the anonymous reviewer and the editor for their valuable comments, and suggestions. Disclosure statement No potential conﬂict of interest was reported by the authors. 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Geology Ecology and Landscapes – Taylor & Francis
Published: Oct 1, 2020
Keywords: Carbon dioxide (CO 2 ); climate change; land use; methane (CH 4 ); EU
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