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Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Livestock

Make a guess – which causes more greenhouse gas emissions, rearing cattle or driving cars?

If your guess is the former, you’re right. But this isn’t a game of cards. According to the report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), animal agriculture alone emits 18% of the greenhouse gases – more than all of the world’s cars, trains and planes combined. This shocking data was published 9 years ago in Livestock’s Long Shadow, 2006.

However, the encouraging news came with a new report that was released by FAO. The figures have come down slightly to 14.5% — or 7.1 gigatonnes (GT) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-eq) per year.

These estimates were based on detailed analysis carried out by FAO for emissions produced at different stages of various livestock supply chains. They include on-farm energy use, production and transport of animal feed, outputs of GHG from animal digestion and manure decomposition, as well as post-slaughter transport, refrigeration and packaging of animal products.

Environmentalists and vegan activists are working hard to advocate meat consumption reduction. And the new findings are showing an uplifting potential for the pursue this goal. It is imperative for the world sectors to work on achieving these reductions for a sustainable future.

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