The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has released a report titled ‘Tackling climate change through livestock: A global assessment of emissions and mitigation opportunities,’ [pdf, 3.79MB] which outlines how implementation of best practices and technologies could help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the livestock sector by up to 30%.
The report estimates that the livestock sector contributes to almost 15% of human-induced emissions, primarily through the beef and cattle industries. This analysis is inclusive of the emissions associated with feed production and processing, transportation, animal processing, as well as enteric fermentation in ruminants and in manure decomposition.
The report describes opportunities for lowering emissions from the sector, by adopting best practices and technologies, and by tailoring approaches to regional and climatic zones, for example by introducing better feeding practices, animal husbandry and health management. It suggests that most mitigation interventions provide environmental and economic co-benefits. It provides key policy areas for action related to: extension and agricultural support services; research and development; financial incentives; market friction instruments; advocacy; development of nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs); and international agreements.
The report is complemented by two technical reports that examine emissions by the pig and chicken supply chains [pdf, 6.10MB] and the ruminant supply chains.[pdf,7.64MB] FAO has been engaged with a variety of stakeholders to establish the Global Agenda of Action in Support of Sustainable Livestock Sector Development, which targets practices related to improved grassland management, better manure management, and the promotion of more efficient practices.
View UN agency Press Release Major reductions of greenhouse gas emissions from livestock within reach
View FAO press Release Major cuts of greenhouse gas emissions from livestock within reach