, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 151–160 | Cite as

Does Divergence of Nutrient Load Measurements Matter for Successful Mitigation of Marine Eutrophication?

  • Ing-Marie Gren
  • Georgia Destouni


Successful implementation of an international nutrient abatement agreement, such as the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP), requires consistent understanding of the baseline nutrient loads, and a perception of acceptable costs and fairness in targeted reductions of these base line loads. This article presents a general framework for identifying the implications of divergence between different nutrient load quantification approaches, with regard to both cost and fairness criteria outcomes, for the international agreement to decrease nutrient loads into the Baltic Sea as presented in the BSAP. The results indicate that even relatively small divergence in the nutrient load quantification translates into relatively large differences in abatement cost for different Baltic Sea countries. A robust result, irrespective of differences in nutrient load assessments, is a conflict between abatement cost effectiveness and fairness, with relatively poor countries facing heavy abatement cost burdens for cost-effective international load abatement.


Nutrient measurement divergences Eutrophication Cost effectiveness Fairness Baltic Sea 



Destouni acknowledges support from Stockholm University’s Strategic Marine Environmental Research Funds through the BEAM Program.


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary GeologyStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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