The effectiveness, efficiency and equity of market-based and voluntary measures to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from the agri-food sector

Most scientists agree that human activity that releases carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere is the dominant cause of climate change. The current concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is around 380 parts per million (ppm), up from 280 ppm in pre-industrial times. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) considers it will be necessary to stabilize global GHGs at a maximum level of 450 ppm CO2 equivalent (CO2 eq) to avoid a temperature rise of more than 2°C. This would require a reduction in global emissions of 80 per cent below 2000 levels by 2050 (IPCC, 2007). However, global emissions increased by 70 per cent between 1970 and 2004, and are still growing.