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Quantifying the potential Impact of Carbon Sequestration Policies - A Regional Analysis for Irish Agriculture using the CAPRI model

School of Agriculture & Food Science

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Dr James Breen No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
Dublin Ireland Agricultural Sciences Climate Science Economics

About the Project


Reducing manmade Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions represents the single greatest challenge facing society. Agriculture is an important source of GHG emissions globally and in the case of Ireland accounts for over 30% of total GHG emissions. Reducing emissions from agriculture will require action to be taken by farmers changing existing production systems, adoption of low emissions technologies and increasing carbon sequestration. From a socioeconomic perspective, the willingness of farmers to support such carbon sequestration actions is not well understood.

The research supported by this scholarship will examine the factors which determine the adoption of carbon sequestration strategies by farmers in Ireland, deepening the understanding of the determinants of afforestation on farms in Ireland. Derived afforestation scenarios will be simulated using the CAPRI (Common Agricultural Policy Regionalised Impact) modelling system to examine the uptake of carbon sequestration strategies and their potential impact on the Irish agriculture sector. The aim of this fellowship is to use the CAPRI model to provide a better understanding of the potential impact of carbon sequestration strategies on the Irish agriculture sector. Specific objectives are:

1.    Examination of Irish agricultural production systems based on NFS data to identify how carbon sequestration on farms has evolved.

2.    Based on NFS data, an investigation of the determinants of the farm level adoption of carbon sequestration strategies.

3.    Using the insight gained, the CAPRI model will be adapted to represent current carbon sequestration in Ireland.

4. Development of carbon sequestration scenarios to quantify the impact of land-use change at NUTS II level for Ireland.


·       M.Sc. and/or first or upper second class honours undergraduate degree in an appropriate discipline (Economics, Agricultural Economics or related)

·       Strong quantitative skills

·       Good communication skills, both written and verbal

·       English language (where English is not the first language)


The Ph.D. scholarship is a joint research project between Teagasc, Rural Economy and Development Programme, Athenry Co. Galway and the School of Agriculture & Food Science in University College Dublin. The student will work under the supervision of Dr. James Breen (UCD) and Dr. Kevin Kilcline (Teagasc) and will be required to undertake coursework during year 1 and 2. The successful candidate will be located jointly between the Teagasc, Rural Economy and Development Programme, Athenry Co. Galway and the School of Agriculture & Food Science in University College Dublin.

The scholarship funding is €24,000 per annum and includes University fees of up to a maximum of €6,000 per annum and is tenable for 4 years.

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