Investigating farmers’ preferences for alternative PES schemes for carbon sequestration in UK agroecosystems

Aslam, Uzma; Termansen, Mette; Fleskens, Luuk


Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) approaches can potentially be used to protect and enhance the provision of ecosystem services. However, there is a need to assess the costs and effectiveness of such voluntary schemes. In particular there is a need for PES schemes to enhance climate regulating services in agricultural systems. In this paper we combine a choice experiment with a marginal abatement cost approach to determine the heterogeneity in cost-effectiveness of sequestration policy schemes in the UK farming sector. The results in general suggest that farmers show an aversion to drastic changes in land management activities but they can be encouraged to adopt relatively less restrictive activities through appropriate compensations. The results indicate that agricultural schemes can deliver carbon abatement at costs comparable to the official UK carbon price. This suggests that carbon sequestration in soils through land use changes and alternative land use management should be considered in UK policy developments to achieve carbon mitigation targets.