Identifying Barriers to Adoption of ‘No-Cost’ Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Practices in Pastoral Systems

70 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2019

See all articles by Sandra Cortés Acosta

Sandra Cortés Acosta

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust

David Fleming

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust

Loic Henry

INRA-AgroParisTech

Edmund Lou

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust

Sally Owen

Victoria University of Wellington - School of Economics and Finance; Climate Sigma

Bruce Small

AgResearch

Date Written: May 10, 2019

Abstract

New Zealand scientists have suggested that multiple pastoral farming practices could reduce on-farm biological greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while maintaining (and in some circumstances even increasing) farm profits (e.g. de Klein and Dynes, 2017). However, these win–win practices (which we define as “no-cost” mitigation practices) are reported to be under-adopted in New Zealand (Reisinger et al. 2018). The focus of this paper is to identify barriers affecting the adoption or expansion of no-cost mitigation practices by farmers in New Zealand. We define and categorize barriers to adoption using a typology of barriers developed by Jaffe (2017). This typology provides a comprehensive list and precise/accurate description of multiple barriers that might be present in farming contexts. First, we confront the typology with empirical evidence in the literature studying the barriers to the adoptions of technologies and practices in the context of pastoral farming. Although the evidence on perceptions and adoption of GHG emissions mitigation options in New Zealand is very limited, several of the barriers in Jaffe’s typology have been evidenced by researchers as affecting the decisions to adopt different innovative technologies and practices on farms. To complement the literature review and, more importantly, focus on no-cost GHG mitigation practices, we conducted interviews with 14 farmers in different regions of the country. In these conversations we discussed different managerial and practical implications of five different no-cost farming practices, with the aim of identifying barriers that affect their adoption or expansion. We describe in the paper more than 40 quotes obtained from farmers, from which we identified the occurrence of 16 different barriers. Among these, the “Unsureness about practicality”, “risk and uncertainty” and “complex interactions” barriers showed as the most frequent barriers identified as causing under-adoption of the evaluated practices. In addition, different types of perceived costs (financial barriers), such as “modelling mismatch” and “learning and adjustment”, have been pointed out as a limitation for adoption (which are captured by barriers category “arguably efficient” in Jaffe’s typology). We also found that in some cases non-financial barriers seem to be interconnected – in especial the case when the interactions’ complexity increases the riskiness of the outcome (the “risk and uncertainty” barrier) and makes it difficult to see whether the mitigation option is practical (a barrier of “unsureness about practicality”).

Keywords: Barriers to adoption, GHG mitigation practices, pastoral systems, climate change

JEL Classification: Q10, Q19, Q52, Q54

Suggested Citation

Cortés Acosta, Sandra and Fleming, David and Henry, Loic and Lou, Edmund and Owen, Sally and Small, Bruce, Identifying Barriers to Adoption of ‘No-Cost’ Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Practices in Pastoral Systems (May 10, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3477066 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3477066

Sandra Cortés Acosta

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust ( email )

Level 1, 93 Cuba Street
P.O. Box 24390
Wellington, 6142
New Zealand

David Fleming (Contact Author)

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust ( email )

Level 1, 93 Cuba Street
P.O. Box 24390
Wellington, 6142
New Zealand

Loic Henry

INRA-AgroParisTech ( email )

147 rue de l'Université
Paris Cedex, 75338
France

Edmund Lou

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust ( email )

Level 1, 93 Cuba Street
P.O. Box 24390
Wellington, 6142
New Zealand

Sally Owen

Victoria University of Wellington - School of Economics and Finance ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand

Climate Sigma ( email )

19 Summit Apartments
184 Molesworth Street
Wellington
New Zealand

Bruce Small

AgResearch ( email )

5th Floor, Tower Block Ruakura Research Centre
10 Bisley Road
Enderley, Hamilton 3214
New Zealand

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