John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Development and testing of a European Union –wide farm‐level carbon calculator

Direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture accounted for around 10% of total European Union (EU) emissions in 2010. To reduce farming‐related GHG emissions, appropriate policy measures and supporting tools for promoting low‐carbon farming practices may be efficacious. This paper presents the methodology and testing results of a new EU‐wide farm‐level carbon footprint calculator. The Carbon Calculator quantifies GHG emissions based on international standards and technical specifications on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and carbon footprinting. The tool delivers its results both at the farm level and as allocated to up to five main products of the farm. In addition to the quantification of GHG emissions, the calculator proposes mitigation options and sequestration actions that may be suitable for individual farms. The results obtained during a survey made on 54 farms from eight EU Member States are presented. These farms were selected in view of representing the diversity of farm types across different environmental zones in the EU. The results of the carbon footprint of products in the dataset show wide range of variation between minimum and maximum values. The results of the mitigation actions showed that the tool can help identify practices that can lead to substantial emission reductions. To avoid burden‐shifting from climate change to other environmental issues, the future improvements of the tool should include incorporation of other environmental impact categories in place of solely focusing on GHG emissions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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