Showing results for: GHG impacts and mitigation
The authors behind this study say that climate change has substantially increased the prospect that crop production will fail to keep up with rising demand in the next 20 years.
In our mailing of 1st July 2014 we highlighted a new paper by Pete Scarborough et al. which compared the GHG intensity of diets adopted by vegetarians, fish eaters and meat eaters in the UK. The Oxford Martin School has now published a short interview with Pete, in which he outlines his motivation for undertaking this work, the method he adopted, and the insights gained from the study.
Scarborough, P., "Q&A: Should We All Become Vegans to save the Planet?" Interview by Sally Stewart. Web log post. ThinkLONG. Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford, 08 July 2014.
The Global Calculator is an open-source interactive tool allows you to explore all the options we have to reduce emissions through changing our technologies, fuels, land use and lifestyles up to the year 2050. It is funded by the UK Government’s International Climate Fund and the EU’s Climate-KIC, and has been built by an international team.
The Animal Health & GHG Emissions Intensity Network is a UK-led initiative of the Livestock Research Group of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA). It aims to bring researchers from across the world together to investigate links and synergies between efforts to reduce livestock disease and reduce the intensity of livestock related GHG emissions. The network’s first workshop was held in Dublin on the 25th March 2014.
The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) has launched a new report on sustainable diets - People, Plate and Planet, describing dietary choices that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pressures on land. The report considers nutrition, GHG emissions and land use and states that the most significant impact on these areas comes from what we eat, not where it is from or how much packaging there is around it.
This paper estimates the total global emissions of methane and nitrous oxide related to livestock in 2010, from 237 countries. It estimates that methane and nitrous oxide from livestock contribute to 9 % of total GHG emissions. The authors analysed a period from 1961-2010 and noted a total increase of emissions from livestock of 51%. Compared to chicken or pork, the paper estimates that beef has a 10 times higher GHG impact.
This study looks at the double challenge of increasing food security while addressing environmental problems caused by agriculture. It identifies a set of key actions in three broad areas that hold the greatest potential for achieving these efficiency and sustainability goals.
This paper, Short-Lived Climate Pollution, published in Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, argues that since carbon dioxide has the longest living effects of all climate pollutants, remaining in the atmosphere for thousands of years, it should be the primary focus of global climate change mitigation efforts.
In 2013 the UK’s Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP) released the publication entitled Household Food and Drink Waste in the UK 2012 which quantified the amounts, types and reasons for food and drink being wasted from UK households. It found that the amount of avoidable household food waste in 2012 (4.2 million tonnes per year) is equivalent to six meals every week for the average UK household. Preventing this food waste could save the average family up to £700 a year and deliver significant environmental benefits through landfill avoidance and by mitigating climate change (on the basis that this ‘unnecessary’ food would not need to be produced and hence all the costs associated with its production and distribution would be avoided).
This paper provides new predictions of the global climate change mitigation potential of soil organic carbon sequestration on agricultural land. It asks whether soil carbon sequestration really does have a major role to play in mitigating agricultural GHGs and concludes that, given the many technical constraints, and the time limited nature of sequestration, its contribution is in fact likely to be minor. However, as the authors point out, there are other non-CO2 benefits that arise from building soil carbon, that are not considered in this study.
This study is one of the very few that examines the GHG impacts of a selection of real life ‘self selected’ diets as opposed to those that are modelled or hypothetical. It looks specifically at the dietary patterns (based on a standard 2,000 kcal diet) of UK vegetarians, semi-vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Approximately 55,500 subjects were chosen for the study, all part of the EPIC-Oxford cohort study.