Knowledge for better food systems

Intensive versus extensive livestock systems and greenhouse gas emissions

Friday, January 1, 2010

The purpose of this briefing paper is to explore the different ways in which one might view the contributions that livestock in intensive and extensive systems make to greenhouse gas emissions. Why do people draw different conclusions about intensive versus extensive systems? How far do these conclusions reflect differing approaches to quantifying emissions, to considering land use, and to accepting future demand for animal source foods? For a longer discussion of livestock issues see the 2007 FCRN livestock working paper or the Environmental Science and Policy paper – both also listed on this page.