Tackling Climate Change Through Livestock

It is easy to draw a dramatic picture of today’s world. Climate change, the most serious environmental challenge humanity has to face, is threatening the well-being of the next generation. Globalization has led to rapid economic, social and technological changes that have left too many behind. Hunger is still a persistent problem, affecting over 900 million human beings worldwide.

But we need not despair. Difficult problems can be tackled for the benefit of many if we apply the right policies that support the required innovation and investment.

We have known for several years that livestock supply chains are an important contributor to climate change. This new report shows that the potential to significantly reduce emissions exists and is within reach. Options are available for all species, systems and regions. But we need political will and better policies.

The report provides much-needed data that will allow us to move forward. It presents an evidence-based picture of emissions with data broken down by species, agroecological zones, regions and production systems. The breadth of information provided by this report reflects the vast diversity of the livestock sector.

A detailed understanding of the magnitude, sources and pathways of emissions is essential to inform policy dialogue and avoid oversimplifications. It will help us to make more informed choices about livestock policies in support of sustainable food production, economic growth and poverty alleviation.

This report identifies ways of reducing emissions by assessing the mitigation potential of sets of technologies. Such analysis provides guidance for local and system-specific solutions, as sector actors seek to improve sustainability and viability, but also for more targeted pro-poor livestock development.

Better knowledge and growing willingness to act create a momentum to tackle climate change with livestock. We should not miss it. As the effect of climate has started to be felt in everyone’s life, collective action is now urgently needed.

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