Climate change mitigation through livestock system transitions

Sadie Shelton

Sustainable intensification of livestock production systems might become a key climate mitigation technology. However, livestock production systems vary substantially, making the implementation of climate mitigation policies a formidable challenge. This article describes results from an economic model using a detailed and high-resolution representation of livestock production systems. The authors conclude that mitigation policies targeting emissions from land-use change are 5 to 10 times more efficient—measured in “total abatement calorie cost”—than policies targeting emissions from livestock only. Thus, fostering transitions toward more productive livestock production systems in combination with climate policies targeting the land-use change appears to be the most efficient lever to deliver desirable climate and food availability outcomes.


Havlík P, Valin H, Herrero M, Obersteiner M, Schmid E, Rufino M, Mosnier A, Thornton P, Böttcher H, Conant R, Frank S, Fritz S, Fuss S, Kraxner F, Notenbaert A

2014

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences