But outside the scheme there is a nascent voluntary credit and offset market, which in theory is open to anyone who can offer valid emissions reductions to anyone who wants to buy them. The same dietary advocates inevitably trace their arguments back to the elimination of production or reduced animal populations. Respiration is an essential part of growth and maintenance for most life on earth. Search for other works by this author on: Building a low-carbon economy—The UK's contribution to tackling climate change. Beyond this, LCA still presents further challenges in terms of impacts to include (e.g., biodiversity loss). This highlights an interesting divergence between production and consumption responsibilities. But the presence of low-cost mitigation options has focused attention on the range of policy instruments available to affect reduction at the farm scale. Without binding policy, farmers are unlikely to see any urgency to change management, even when there are alleged win-win situations. The primary greenhouse gases related to agriculture are carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. Consumer awareness turns out to be a key driver of change, and product labeling is a key instrument for promoting consumer awareness. Life cycle analysis is a technique to assess environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product's life from cradle to grave (i.e., from raw material extraction through materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair and maintenance, and disposal or recycling). Reviewing Existing and Proposed Emissions Trading Systems. In broad terms, approaches can be characterized in terms of sermons, carrots, and sticks. In undertaking LCA for products, the definition of an analytical boundary is a crucial part of the calculation (Figure 3). This is in contrast to current production based inventories and negotiations. de Vries , Smale R., Phillips J. Lambin While this has led to creeping demonization of the sector, it is important to offset the negatives with some positives: livestock products are a preferred protein source for millions of people; they contribute to sustainable livelihoods in developing countries; and they are an integral part of many socio-ecological systems that make up the agricultural mosaics we see in many OECD countries. Several countries (e.g., United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia) have investigated the feasibility of such schemes in the livestock sector, and results suggest that only the largest producers could realistically be included in a scheme that would not be prohibitively expensive to administer. Methane, mainly produced by enteric fermentation and manure storage, is a gas which has an effect on global warming 28 times higher than carbon dioxide. Nitrous oxide is a very potent greenhouse gas, with 310 times greater global warming potential than carbon dioxide. Greenhouse gas emissions from the dairy sector: A life cycle assessment. A further research need is to understand consumer responses and reactions to labeling and perception of where responsibility lies. There is also a requirement for institutional arrangements to monitor, report, and verify that emissions reductions are additional and permanent. These observations echo a wider political debate that suggests that national inventories should be pinning life-cycle emissions onto the countries where final consumption takes place. Total emissions from global livestock: 7.1 Gigatonnes of Co2-equiv per year, representing 14.5 percent of all anthropogenic GHG emissions. Reviewers: This work is supported by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. The systems for producing different kinds of livestock are highly diverse, which results in large differences in the associated GHG emissions per kilogram produced in different regions. Nitrous oxide is also produced from manure storage surfaces, during land application, and from manure in bedded packs & lots. This figure is in line FAO’s previous assessment, Livestock’s Long Shadow, published in 2006, although it is based on a much more … A theoretically equivalent outcome could also be derived from the use of an emissions trading system, which would require producers to hold emissions permits (initially allocated for free or by auction) to account for all their emission sources. But the effectiveness of any policy instruments depends partly on behavioral responses. The methane is released primarily through belching. This information is useful for government aiming to regulate farms as business units on which they have good data. The next largest portion of livestock greenhouse gas emissions is from methane produced during enteric fermentation in ruminants – a natural part of ruminant digestion where microbes in the first of four stomachs, the rumen, break down feed and produce methane as a by-product. To learn more about how farm emissions are determined and see species specific examples, see the Carbon Footprint resources. To learn about how to reduce on-farm emissions through mitigation technology and management options, see the Reducing Emissions resources. A source is a net contribution to the atmosphere, while a sink is a net withdrawal of greenhouse gases. In theoretical terms, a carbon tax could be applied to livestock producers based on animal numbers multiplied by relevant emissions coefficients. An increasing number of LCA studies show some consistency in terms of where key emissions hotspots lie, and the resulting prescriptions for production processes. Nitrous oxide can be produced in soils following fertilizer application (both synthetic and organic). 2015-41595-24254 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Application of organic fertilizers increases antibiotics in soil. Combustion engines exaust carbon dioxide from fossil fuel (previously stored carbon) powered vehicles and equipment. The Canadian province of Alberta has been developing a carbon offset system based on a compliance carbon offset market with protocols developed for dairy system efficiencies (http://www.wcds.ca/proc/2010/Manuscripts/p139-150Haugen-Koyzra.pdf). The methane is released  primarily through belching. Whereas policy on agricultural emissions is still evolving, voluntary compliance allows some producers to identify themselves in low carbon niche markets. Consumption management is thus an alternative policy lever that may appeal to policy makers. Such tools serve the purpose of signaling compliance with relevant good practice. , Meyfroidt P. Moran Nevertheless, in smallholder crop-livestock, agro-pastoral, and pastoral-livestock systems, livestock are one of a limited number of broad-based options to increase incomes. Improvements in emissions measurement contribute to more accurate national inventories. Although integral to many farming systems, livestock production is nevertheless associated with many impacts that are deemed socially undesirable. Source: CCC modeling. greenhouse gas emissions (GGELS) - Executive summary - Administrative Arrangements AGRI-2008-0245 and AGRI-2009-0296. Several governments are also seeing a role for new investment funds to promote renewable energy from anaerobic digestion of farm waste. A wider perspective on production and consumption reveals other problems and counterintuitive outcomes. Livestock supply chains emitted an estimated total of 8.1 gigatonnes CO 2 -eq in 2010 (using 298 and 34 as global warming potential for N 2 O and CH 4 respectively). Within animal production, the largest emissions are from beef followed by dairy, and largely dominated by the methane produced in during cattle digestion. CO2 eq.-1, represented by a horizontal line drawn at that price in Figure 1, shows that greater cost measures to the right of the diagram would not be efficient to implement. Government regulation is mainly focused on producers, but it is not the only driver of change. No such credits currently exist for livestock management. Varying quantities of CO2 identified at key production stages can show how production processes can be modified. Measures do not appear in exact cost-effectiveness order because of interactions between options. 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