International climate agreements, like COP21, have initiated a new era for climate policies. The livestock sector has potential to contributing to mitigating climate impact. In the EU, the sector accounts for 40% of global agricultural emissions or 7% of total emissions, producing about 2,400 Mt of CO₂ equivalent annually, but also methane and NO2. Enteric emissions, emissions from manure and land use change (LUC) due to deforestation for feed production are among the principal contributors.
Thanks to significant efforts, the livestock sector in Europe is starting to contribute to mitigation of climate impacts (SDG 13). R&I, new technologies and relevant incentives to implementation of best practices may enable the livestock sector to come close to CO2 neutrality for monogastrics and to achieve a 40% reduction for ruminants. Ways to proceed include e.g. implementing mitigation options and enhancing carbon storage under grasslands soils.
Climate targets should be integrated into a holistic approach to avoid trade-offs and foster a sustainable use of resources, preservation of biodiversity and improvement of soil quality. Future solutions need to optimise multiple factors through a systems approach, which takes into account the interplay between the system components.
2 events were organised in 2019 to discuss this topic:
- the 7th ATF-EAAP special session (Aug. 26th, Ghent, Belgium)
- the 9th ATF seminar (Nov. 6th - morning, Brussels, Belgium)
Both events aim to contribute to:
- Engage a dialogue with various stakeholders;
- Support knowledge development and innovation, foster ownership by farmers and industries;
- Address ho research can help the livestock sector;
- Provide input to European research and innovation agendas to public policies to secure Europe's role as a leading global provider of safe and
- healthy animal-derived products.