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Agricultural offsets will save US 'hundreds of billions' in greenhouse costs

- Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), an independent agency of the US Congress that provides advice to US lawmakers on the costs of policy proposals, has estimated that the recognition of agricultural offsets under US Climate Change legislation will reduce the cost of the US meeting its emission targets by more than $US 100 billion per year by 2030.

The CBO study was released on August 3rd, and estimates that the cost of the US meeting it's greenhouse emission targets in 2030 without offsets would be $US 248 billion. With offsets (which will include actions by US farmers and 'international' offsets associated with agricultural changes in developing nations), the cost to the US economy is estimated to be $US 101 billion, - 60% less. The study estimated that transaction costs associated with administration and validation of agricultural offsets would be equal to approximately $US 5 per tonne of emissions. Whichever way it is looked at, the inclusion of agricultural offsets in the US legislation will provide a very useful wealth transfer to US farmers.  
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