Livestock and greenhouse gas emissions: Mitigation options and trade-offs

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Presentation By Mario Herrero and Philip Thornton at the CCAFS science meeting, Cancun, Mexico, 1-2 December 2010.

Presentation By Mario Herrero and Philip Thornton at the CCAFS science meeting, Cancun, Mexico, 1-2 December 2010.

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  • 1. Livestock and GHG emissions:
    mitigation options and trade-offs
    Mario Herrero and Philip K. Thornton
    CCAFS Science meeting
    December 1st-2nd , 2010 | Cancun, Mexico
  • 2. Structure of the presentation
    • Background
    • 3. Livestock and livelihoods
    • 4. Livestock and GHG
    • 5. Estimates
    • 6. Key principles
    • 7. Mitigation options
    • 8. Researchable issues
    • 9. Conclusions
  • General context
    Population to reach almost 9 billion over the next quarter of a century
    Getting richer and urbanised
    Increased demands for livestock products
    Lots of changes occurring: climate, economics, technology, resource availability, intensification
    Systems are changing……
  • 10. Revised demand for livestock products to 2050
    Rosegrant et al 2009
  • 11. An example of the changing nature of livestock systems
    Can we influence the next transition for the benefit of society and the environment?
    2004 – crop-livestock system
    W. Africa 1966 – pastoral system
  • 12. Key concerns for the future
    • How to achieve food security
    • 13. How to maintain livelihoods
    • 14. Protection and maintenance of ecosystems services
    • 15. Economic growth
    • 16. Reducing the environmental impacts for the livestock sector
  • Livestock and livelihoods
  • 17. Livestock and livelihoods (1)
    • Livestock systems occupy 26% or the global land area (Reid et al 2008)
    • 18. A significant global asset: value of at least $1.4 trillion (excluding infrastructure that supports livestock industries) (Thornton and Herrero 2008)
    • 19. Livestock industries organised in long market chains that employ at least 1.3 billion people (LID 1999)
    • 20. Livestock key as a risk reduction strategy for vulnerable communities (Freeman et al 2007)
    • 21. Important providers of nutrients and traction for growing crops in smallholder systems (at least 60% of the global cropping area receives manure applications – Herrero et al 2008a)
    Herrero et al. (Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 2009, 1: 111-120)
  • 22. Livestock and livelihoods (2)
    At least 600 million of the World’s poor depend on livestock
    Thornton et al. 2002
  • 23. Livestock – high value products
    Milk has the highest value of production of all agricultural commodities (FAOSTAT 2008)
  • 24. Food production
    Mixed systems in the developing World produce almost 50% of the cereals of the World
    Herrero et al. Science 327: 822-825
  • 25. Livestock and livelihoods (3)
    • Livestock products contribute to 17% of the global kilocalorie consumption and 33% of the protein consumption (FAOSTAT 2008)
    • 26. Livestock provide food for at least 830 million food insecure people (Gerber et al 2007)
    • 27. Significant global differences in kilocalorie consumption but… highest rates of increase in consumption of livestock products in the developing World
    • 28. .
    Herrero et al 2008a
  • 29. Livestock and GHG emissions
  • 30. Livestock’s long shadowA food-chain perspective of GHG emissions
    Emissions from feed production
    chemical fertilizer fabrication and application
    on-farm fossil fuel use
    livestock-related land use changes
    C release from soils
    [Savannah burning]
    Emissions from livestock rearing
    enteric fermentation
    animal manure management
    [respiration by livestock]
    Post harvest emissions
    slaughtering and processing
    international transportation
    [national transportation]
    Steinfeld et al 2006
  • 31. Livestock and GHG: 18% of global emissions
    Chemical N. fert. production
    On-farm fossil fuel
    OM release from ag. soils
    Pasture degradation
    Processing fossil fuel
    Transport fossil fuel
    Enteric fermentation
    Manure storage / processing
    N fertilization
    Legume production
    Manure storage / processing
    Manure spreading / dropping
    Manu indirect emissions
    Prepared by Bonneau, 2008
  • 32. Mitigation options
    Reductions in emissions: significant potential!
    Managing demand for animal products
    Improved / intensified diets for ruminants
    Reduction of animal numbers
    Reduced livestock-induced deforestation
    Change of animal species
    Feed additives to reduce enteric fermentation
    Manure management (feed additives, methane production, regulations for manure disposal)
    Herrero et al. (Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 2009, 1: 111-120)
  • 33. The world will require 1 billion tonnes of additional cereal grains to 2050 to meet food and feed demands(IAASTD 2009)
    1048 million tonnes more to 2050
    458 million MT
    430 million MT
    Monogastrics mostly
    160 million MT
  • 34. Changing diets Consuming less meat or different types of meat could lower GHG emissions
    Stehfest et al. 2009. Climatic Change
  • 35. 200
    kg CO2 eq/kg animal protein
    Range of GHG intensities for commodities in OECD-countries
    Source: DeVries & DeBoer(2009)
  • 36. Changing diets Consuming less meat or different types of meat could lower GHG emissions
    Less land needed
    ....but social and economic impacts?
    ....displacement of people?
    Stehfest et al. 2009. Climatic Change
  • 37. Mitigation 101 – intensification is essentialThe better we feed cows the less methane per kg of milk they produce
    Chad - pastoral
    India mixed
    US/Europe - mixed
    Herrero et al (forthcoming)
  • 38. Mitigation options – intensifying diets
    Thornton and Herrero 2010 (PNAS 107, 19667-19672)
  • 39. 23
    Systems shifts - some results from the GLOBIOM model (IIASA-ILRI)
    Simulation horizon:2020
    STICKY livestock production systems
    - min 75% of LPS of 2000 following production trajectory to 2020
    FLEXIBLE livestock production systems
    - min 25% of LPS of 2000 still in the same place in 2020
    - intensifing mixed crop livestock systems
    Havlik, Herrero, Obersteiner et al, COP15, 2009
  • 40. 24
    IF system change possible  shift to intensive production systems
    Havlik, Herrero, Obersteiner et al, COP15, 2009
  • 41. 25
    Adjustments in production systems help to keep commodity prices low
    Havlik, Herrero, Obersteiner et al, COP15, 2009
  • 42. 26
    RED through livestock does not have negative effect on non-CO2 emissions.
    Havlik, Herrero, Obersteiner et al, COP15, 2009
  • 43. Can we untap the potential for carbon sequestration in rangeland systems?
    Largest land use system
    Potentially a large C sink
    Could be an important income diversification source
    Difficulties in:
    Measuring and monitoring C stocks
    Establishment of payment schemes
    Dealing with mobile pastoralists
    Potential for carbon
    sequestration in rangelands
    (Conant and Paustian 2002)
  • 44. Some conclusions
    Complex issue: livestock’s livelihood benefits and environmental impacts largely dependent on location, systems, intensification level and others
    Reducing livestock’s impact on the environment requires the fundamental recognition that societal benefits need to be met at the same time as the environmental ones
    (current studies: too much focus on the environment, less so on livelihoods)
    Understanding trade-offs requires a ‘multi-currency’ approach: energy, emissions, water, nutrients, incomes, etc along value chains (life cycles)
    Well placed to make global inventories
  • 45. Some key trade-offs
    Biomass uses for food, feed, fuel and fertiliser
    Intensifying systems to increase production efficiency while balancing environmental protection and providing livelihoods for poor people
    Cheap food vs sustainable food for consumers?
    Herrero et al 2009 Current Op EnvSust
  • 46. Researchable issues
    Social and economic impacts of mitigation
    More needed on scenarios of consumption
    Mechanisms for implementing mitigation schemes (policies: carrots, sticks, institutions, etc): need to increase adoption rates!
    What is sustainable intensification? Limits?
    Support on inventory development for developing countries
    Need to refine LCA analyses
  • 47. Thank you!