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Costs of alternative nutrient load targets for the Baltic Sea – Technical report

Gren, Ing-Marie; Tafesse Tirkaso, Wondmagegn


Cost effective solutions are calculated for alternative nutrient targets to the Baltic Sea. The numerical programming model includes eight different nutrient abatement measures (fertilizer and livestock reduction, cultivation of catch crops, reduced airborne nitrogen emissions, improved cleaning at sewage treatment plants, construction of wetlands and buffer strips, and mussel farming) in 21 catchments of the Baltic Sea. The results indicate that the cost for the international agreement on maximum load targets to different marine basins amount to 5.3 billion euro, which is more than twice as large as the cost for the same total nutrient load targets to the Baltic Sea. However, the resulting nutrient loads to the different marine basins deviate from the basin targets where the loads are lower for some basins but can exceed that for one basin, Baltic Proper, by approximately 22 per cent. Whether or not the ecological costs and benefits from deviations in basin targets under Baltic Sea targets exceed the excess abatement cost of 2.9 billion euro for achieving the marine basin targets remains to be verified.


cost-effectiveness; nutrient load targets; Baltic Sea

Published in

Working Paper Series / Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics
2020, number: 2020:02
Publisher: Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

      SLU Authors

    • UKÄ Subject classification

      Environmental Sciences

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