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Potential of land use activities to offset road traffic greenhouse gas emissions in Central Spain

Science of the Total Environment

Abstract

The transport sector is one of the main sources of greenhouse gases, adding in Spain near a quarter of the total national emissions, the majority in road transport. Therefore, road contribution to climate change should be mitigated to achieve the proposed goals in the fight against climate change. Policies and strategies suggest several preventive mitigation options, but have paid little attention to compensatory mitigation. We have conducted a theoretical case study in a Spanish province, Segovia, estimating the carbon dioxide emissions in the road network between 2015 and 2050, and analysing different compensation possibilities through conservation agriculture, agroforestry, afforestation and hedgerow plantation. We have calculated carbon sequestration in the reference period and costs per tonne for each option, estimating the budget range of offsetting road carbon emission, and funding possibilities, especially through fuel taxes. The paper demonstrates that offsetting carbon emissions produced by roads in this area is technically possible and highly desirable, unifying carbon sequestration, biodiversity improvement and rural development. The main challenge is funding, which depends largely on the political will and the awareness of the citizens. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Author(s): Enriquez-de-Salamanca, A; Martin-Aranda, RM; Diaz-Sierra, R

Journal: Science of the Total Environment

Year: 2017

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