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 October 29, 2009
Livestock and Climate Change

 It seems humans are not the only culprits with respect to climate change. Livestock causes far more climate damage than first thought, says a new report.

by Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang

Livestock and Climate Change: What if the key actors in climate change are...cows, pigs, and chickens?

The environmental impact of the lifecycle and supply chain of animals raised for food has been vastly underestimated, and in fact accounts for at least half of all human-caused greenhouse gases (GHGs), according to Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang, co-authors of "Livestock and Climate Change".

In the paper published by the Worldwatch Institute, the two World Bank environmental advisers claim that instead of 18 per cent of global emissions being caused by meat, the true figure is 51 per cent.

A widely cited 2006 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Livestock’s Long Shadow, estimates that 18 percent of annual worldwide GHG emissions are attributable to cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, camels, pigs, and poultry.

But recent analysis by Goodland and Anhang finds that livestock and their byproducts actually account for at least 32.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year, or 51 percent of annual worldwide GHG emissions.

Read "Livestock and Climate Change," World Watch Magazine [FREE PDF]

For More Information: World Watch Institute
Source 2: The Independent