Further publications of the WIFO research staff members

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Weitere Publikationen: Mathias Kirchner(8 hits)

Mark Sommer, Mathias Kirchner, Kurt Kratena, The impacts of a progressive CO2 tax on socio-economic and environmental indicators in Austria, in: 10. Internationale Energiewirtschaftstagung "Klimaziele 2050: Chance für einen Paradigmenwechsel?"

We analyse the economic and environmental impacts of different CO2 tax (uniform or progressive) and rebate (reduction of VAT, social contributions or lump-sum payments) schemes with focus on private consumption (i.e., heating and mobility) as well as distributional impacts on different household income quintiles in Austria. We use the econometric input-output model DYNK to investigate these impacts. DYNK is able to consider macroeconomic feedbacks of CO2 taxes and accompanying rebate schemes. An energy module allows to link production and consumption activities with energy demand and associated GHG emissions and includes behavioural estimations with regard to energy demand for private household income quintiles that are fully integrated in the macroeconomic part of the model. First preliminary results indicate that a uniform CO2 tax on fossil fuel use for private consumption (including a tax rebate on VAT for other commodities) has a weak regressive impact on household incomes. The distributional impact of CO2 taxes differs between heating and mobility consumption.

Matthias Zessner, Martin Schönhart, Juraj Parajka, Helene Trautvetter, Hermine Mitter, Mathias Kirchner, Gerold Hepp, Alfred Paul Blaschke, Birgit Strenn, Erwin Schmid, A novel integrated modelling framework to assess the impacts of climate and socio-economic drivers on land use and water quality

Science of the Total Environment, 2017, 4 pages, pp.1137-1151, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.11.092
Changes in climatic conditions will directly affect the quality and quantity of water resources. Further on, they will affect them indirectly through adaptation in land use which ultimately influences diffuse nutrient emissions to rivers and therefore potentially the compliance with good ecological status according to the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). We present an integrated impact modelling framework (IIMF) to track and quantify direct and indirect pollution impacts along policy-economy-climate-agriculture-water interfaces. The IIMF is applied to assess impacts of climatic and socio-economic drivers on agricultural land use (crop choices, farming practices and fertilisation levels), river flows and the risk for exceedance of environmental quality standards for determination of the ecological water quality status in Austria. This article also presents model interfaces as well as validation procedures and results of single models and the IIMF with respect to observed state variables such as land use, river flow and nutrient river loads. The performance of the IIMF for calculations of river nutrient loads (120 monitoring stations) shows a Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency of 0.73 for nitrogen and 0.51 for phosphorus. Most problematic is the modelling of phosphorus loads in the alpine catchments dominated by forests and mountainous landscape. About 63 percent of these catchments show a deviation between modelled and observed loads of 30 percent and more. In catchments dominated by agricultural production, the performance of the IIMF is much better as only 30 percent of cropland and 23 percent of permanent grassland dominated areas have a deviation of more than 30 percent between modelled and observed loads. As risk of exceedance of environmental quality standards is mainly recognised in catchments dominated by cropland, the IIMF is well suited for assessing the nutrient component of the WFD ecological status.

Martin Schönhart, Thomas Schauppenlehner, Michael Kuttner, Mathias Kirchner, Erwin Schmid, Climate change impacts on farm production, landscape appearance, and the environment: Policy scenario results from an integrated field-farm-landscape model in Austria

Agricultural Systems, 2016, 11 pages, pp.39-50, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2016.02.008
Climate change is among the major drivers of agricultural land use change and demands autonomous farm adaptation as well as public mitigation and adaptation policies. In this article, we present an integrated land use model (ILM) mainly combining a bio-physical model and a bio-economic farm model at field, farm and landscape levels. The ILM is applied to a cropland dominated landscape in Austria to analyse impacts of climate change and mitigation and adaptation policy scenarios on farm production as well as on the abiotic environment and biotic environment. Changes in aggregated total farm gross margins from three climate change scenarios for 2040 range between + 1 and + 5 percent without policy intervention and compared to a reference situation under the current climate. Changes in aggregated gross margins are even higher if adaptation policies are in place. However, increasing productivity from climate change leads to deteriorating environmental conditions such as declining plant species richness and landscape appearance. It has to be balanced by mitigation and adaptation policies taking into account effects from the considerable spatial heterogeneity such as revealed by the ILM.

Mathias Kirchner, Martin Schönhart, Erwin Schmid, Spatial impacts of the CAP post-2013 and climate change scenarios on agricultural intensification and environment in Austria

Ecological Economics, 2016, pp.35-56, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2015.12.009
We assess impacts of the latest CAP reform and regional climate change scenarios on agricultural land use intensification and environment in Austria for the period 2025-2040. A spatially explicit integrated assessment based on sequentially coupled models quantifies the impacts at a 1 km grid resolution in order to take into account the heterogeneity of agricultural production and environment. The CAP post-2013 will lead to a shift in direct payments from cropland to grassland dominated production regions as well as to a slight decrease in regional producer surpluses in Austria. The economic impact of climate change scenarios depends on the spatial location and the precipitation scenario. The CAP post-2013 will lead to intensification of agricultural land use in favourable cropland and grassland regions as well as to extensification in marginal areas. Regional climate change amplifies land use intensification with increases in crop and forage yields, e.g., in Alpine regions, and land use extensification with declining crop yields, e.g., in eastern cropland regions. Environmental indicators deteriorate at national level in all scenarios. Spatially highly diverging impacts call for more targeted policy measures.

Mathias Kirchner, Johannes Schmidt, Georg Kindermann, Veronika Kulmer, Hermine Mitter, Franz Prettenthaler, Johannes Rüdisser, Thomas Schauppenlehner, Martin Schönhart, Franziska Strauss, Ulrike Tappeiner, Erich Tasser, Erwin Schmid, Ecosystem services and economic development in Austrian agricultural landscapes – The impact of policy and climate change scenarios on trade-offs and synergies

Ecological Economics, 2015, 13 pages, pp.161-174, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2014.11.005
We have developed an integrated modeling framework (IMF) to quantify indicators for ecosystem services (ES) and economic development (ED) in agricultural landscapes. Austria serves as a case study in which impacts, trade-offs, and synergies of ES and ED are assessed for different agricultural policy pathways and regional climate change scenarios. Agricultural intensification and incentivised use of provisioning ES (e.g., biomass production) lead to higher macroeconomic output (e.g., GDP) but usually reduce ES related to regulation and maintenance (e.g., ecological integrity, climate regulation), as well as cultural services (landscape diversity). We revealed both synergies for certain ES (e.g., biomass production and soil organic carbon stocks) as well as large spatial deviations from the national mean across the heterogeneous agricultural landscapes in Austria. Climate change scenarios 1. lead to substantial variation in ES and ED indicators and 2. usually amplify trade-offs by stimulating land use intensification. Our findings depict the complex relationship between different ES and ED indicators as well as the importance of considering spatial heterogeneity and regional climate change. This assessment can help to improve targeting of agri-environmental schemes in order to provide a more balanced and efficient supply of ES and to foster rural development.

Mathias Kirchner, Integrated impact modelling of climate change and policy scenarios on agriculture, land use change, and environment in Austria

Dissertation, 164 pages
Climate, agricultural policy, and trade are major driving forces of agricultural land use change. This dissertation introduces economic land use optimisation models that are spatially explicit and integrated into interdisciplinary modelling frameworks to analyse impacts of these driving forces on agriculture, land use, and environment in Austria.
Editors: University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna

Hermine Mitter, Mathias Kirchner, Erwin Schmid, Martin Schönhart, The participation of agricultural stakeholders in assessing regional vulnerability of cropland to soil water erosion in Austria

Regional Environmental Change, 2014, (1), pp.385-400, http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10113-013-0506-7
Scientists increasingly engage with stakeholders in order to develop more acceptable and applicable solutions particularly for climate change impact, adaptation, and vulnerability assessments. We present methodology, results, and experiences of a participation process in a regional soil water erosion vulnerability assessment in Austria. A peer group consisting of agricultural extension specialists, administration, and scientists identified the impacts of uncertain future precipitation on soil water erosion and the effectiveness of relevant soil conservation measures as the most crucial knowledge gap. We applied the bio-physical process model Environmental Policy Integrated Climate to simulate potential sediment yields using the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation methodology and crop yields to calculate gross margins. The simulations have been performed for five climate change scenarios until 2040 and three alternative crop management practices. A heterogeneous expanded stakeholder group provided knowledge on regional crop production and management and thus contributed to a first validation of the model input data. Model results indicate an increase in severely erosion-prone cropland by 76 to 135 percent with higher precipitation sums for 2040, on average. Furthermore, reduced tillage and cultivating winter cover crops have been identified as effective adaptation measures reducing mean sediment loss between 7 and 31 percent, on average. A peer group validated model output with respect to relevance, plausibility, and usability of results and confirmed the usefulness of the results to inform the public debate on regional climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability in agriculture.

Mathias Kirchner, Erwin Schmid, Integrated regional impact assessment of agricultural trade and domestic environmental policies

Land Use Policy, 2013, pp.359-378, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2013.06.008
It remains challenging to derive general findings and conclusions from either economic theory or empirical studies on the relationship between international trade and the regional environment. Consequently, we aim to analyse environmental effects of agricultural trade policies in the Austrian Marchfeld region. We apply an integrated modelling framework that accounts for heterogeneity in agricultural production and environmental outcomes. Scenario analysis is applied to assess regional impacts of different trade policy scenarios. Sensitivity analyses reveal the relative influence of model parameters on outputs. The results indicate that lower domestic tariffs have small beneficial effects on the regional environment. The regional environmental impacts highly depend on the changes in world crop prices through global trade agreements. A laissez-faire market scenario that includes the elimination of trade barriers and agri-environmental payments (AEPs) leads to substantial environmental deterioration. Hence, the alignment of AEPs with WTO trading rules remains an important issue in the trade and environment debate.