A. A source is a net contribution to the atmosphere, while a sink is a net withdrawal of greenhouse gases. Farm-based studies indicate that there are huge differences between farms in terms of animal productivity and environmental performance. D. Advocates of plant-based diets have been quick to point out the relative emissions intensity of livestock products and how other ancillary health costs essentially outweigh the social benefits of meat production (Stehfest et al., 2009). 2015-41595-24254 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. This is reflected in a variety of farm-based calculators, none of which can claim to be an industry protocol or standard. GHG emissions of all livestock products amount to between 630 and 863 Mt CO 2 e, or 12–17% of total EU27 GHG emissions in 2007. Source: Building a low-carbon economy-The UK's contribution to tackling climate change. Livestock's long shadow: Environmental issues and options. Measures do not appear in exact cost-effectiveness order because of interactions between options. It is also important to recognize that livelihoods in developing countries are also often dependent on these systems, and although there is no mechanism for regulating related emissions in these countries, this represents an ecosystem service that is a potential vehicle for development aid. , de Boer I. J. M. Helm Expanding livestock sectors play a role in the expansion of agricultural land and associated deforestation, the emissions of GHG, eutrophication of surface waters, and nutrient imbalances. Nitrous oxide, arising from manure storage and the use of organic/inorganic fertilizers, is a molecule with a global warming potential 265 times higher than carbon dioxide. de Vries The wider perspective also suggests that the benefits of domestic abstention are likely to be offset by consumption in emerging economies, and China in particular. An increasing number of LCA studies show some consistency in terms of where key emissions hotspots lie, and the resulting prescriptions for production processes. This alternative focus leads to interest in life cycle analysis (LCA). In theoretical terms, a carbon tax could be applied to livestock producers based on animal numbers multiplied by relevant emissions coefficients. 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. Within animal production, the largest emissions are from beef followed by dairy, and largely dominated by the methane produced in during cattle digestion. Costs and benefits of livestock systems and the role of market and nonmarket relationships, Marginal abatement cost curves for UK agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, Market Mechanisms for Reducing GHG Emissions from Agriculture, Forestry and Land Management. 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. Soil and plant respiration adds carbon dioxide back to the atmosphere when microbes or plants breakdown molecules to produce energy. In undertaking LCA for products, the definition of an analytical boundary is a crucial part of the calculation (Figure 3). More specifically, how far upstream should impacts be traced and attributed to a final product? This paper consid… 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. Even if a standard tool could be agreed upon, further concerns relate to the permanence of reductions and whether they are additional to what would have happened anyway. Source: CCC modeling. Ultimately, this means that voluntary contracts in agriculture are more complex and viewed as less reliable than, for example, woodland credits, which are technically more verifiable. This essentially takes the analysis beyond the farm gate to include all upstream and downstream inputs and processes including distribution and retailing, which are likely to involve emissions of CO2. Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Community, Connecting agri-professionals advancing environmental stewardship in animal agriculture. AD = anaerobic digestion. The First Report of the Committee on Climate Change, December 2008. In addition to formal trading arrangements, a growing voluntary carbon market has developed largely around forestry and renewable energy credits. As per the MACC analysis, the farm prescriptions suggest a focus on breeding, manure management, fertilizer practices, and anaerobic digestion of manure with lesser reductions from energy efficiency. Excess nitrogen in agriculture systems can be converted to nitrous oxide through the nitrification-denitrification process. 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). Other commentators suggest that emissions reductions will simply lead to displacement abroad if they are associated with reduced domestic output as a result. Several governments are also seeing a role for new investment funds to promote renewable energy from anaerobic digestion of farm waste. Moreover, validation issues are still conspiring to depress the price of soil carbon credits, and serious questions are also being posed about the validity of stand-alone institutions that are brokering these trades. Varying quantities of CO2 identified at key production stages can show how production processes can be modified. For example, the attribution of the costs of animal feed production to the final livestock product can add a range of indirect impacts to the final emissions per unit of product. Under a consumption accounting protocol exporting countries are likely to see emissions liabilities reduced relative to countries with high imports of carbon-intensive products (Helm et al., 2007). Anytime the manure sits for more than a couple days in an anaerobic (without oxygen) environment, methane will likely be produced.