Economic and Environmental Impacts of Climate Change and Socio-economic Scenarios: A Case Study on a Semi-subsistence Agricultural Production System

By Roberto O. Valdivia, Jetse J. Stoorvogel and John M. Antle.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

In this study we use a spatially-explicit integrated assessment model (TOA-ME) to evaluate the economic (income, poverty) and environmental (soil nutrient depletion) impacts of climate change and socio-economic scenarios in a case study of the semi-subsistence agricultural production systems of Machakos (Kenya). This model provides a unique capability to assess distributional effects of climate change on economic and environmental outcomes while also accounting for market-level impacts on prices. We use this framework to examine how a socio-economic scenario based on policy and technology interventions can offset the likely negative effects of climate change. In order to conduct this analysis we propose a three-step methodology: i) analysis of climate change scenarios generated by GCMs, ii) use of GCMs output to estimate crop responses, and iii) modeling the land use decisions and economics of the farming systems. Output data from 5 commonly used GCMs and 3 emission scenarios were used. Outputs from GCMs and emission scenarios corresponding to the Machakos region are highly variable but present a similar trend of higher temperatures and decreasing precipitation. As a result, crop production decreases with the effects varying by location. Farmers are likely to adapt to the new climate conditions through changes in land use; however the effects on poverty and soil nutrient depletion rates are small. In contrast, the analysis shows that an effective policy and technology intervention that leads to different socio-economic conditions could offset the negative effects of climate change and reduce this region’s vulnerability. The results also imply that ignoring new market conditions could lead to incorrect information for policy making.

Keywords: Climate Change, Market Equilibrium, Poverty, Soil Nutrient Depletion, Tradeoff Analysis, Kenya

The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.157-176. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 880.264KB).

Roberto O. Valdivia

Research Associate, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Oregon State University, Bozeman, Oregon, USA

Roberto O. Valdivia is a Research Associate in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Oregon State University. He graduated from the Universidad Nacional del Altiplano-Puno, Peru with a B.S. in economic sciences in 1995. In 1996 he earned the title of Economist Engineer. He was involved in projects funded by the International Development Research Centre-Canada in Bolivia. He worked at the International Potato Center in Lima, Peru as a research assistant and consultant to several projects in the Andean region. In 1998 he began working for the Tradeoffs in Sustainable Agriculture Project funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. He obtained his MSc. in applied economics in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics at Montana State University. He is a PhD candidate from Wageningen University. Current research interest includes analysis of agricultural production systems and assessing economic and environmental impacts of policy and technologies, as well as climate change impacts. He is also interested in the economics of terrestrial and geological carbon sequestration. Most of his research is focused in developing countries.

Dr. Jetse J. Stoorvogel

Associate Professor, Land Dynamics Group, Wageningen University, Wageningen, Netherlands

Jetse J. Stoorvogel is associate professor in the Land Dynamics Group at Wageningen University, the Netherlands. He received a PhD in soil science and agronomy from the same university in 1995. He was academy fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences between 1996 and 2001. In 2005, he was appointed as member of the Young Academy of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. His research focuses on soil fertility decline in the tropics, digital soil mapping, and integrated assessment models. He is currently a member of the editorial board of the international journals Nutrient Cycling in AgroEcosystems and Agricultural Systems.

Dr. John M. Antle

Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA

John M. Antle is a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, and a University Fellow at Resources for the Future, Washington, D.C. He received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago in 1980, and was formerly a professor at UC Davis and Montana State University. He has served as a senior staff economist for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers in Washington, D.C. (1989−90); as a member of the National Research Council’s Board on Agriculture (1991−97); and was a lead and contributing author to the IPCC third and fourth assessment reports. He is a Fellow and past President of the American Agricultural Economics Association. His current research focuses on the sustainability of agricultural systems in industrialized and developing countries, including climate change impacts, adaptation and mitigation in agriculture; assessment of environmental and social impacts of agricultural technologies; and geologic carbon sequestration.

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