Agriculture’s significant climate impact need to be escalated and be given attention.
Livestock is responsible for over 15% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, according to the UN s’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The most destructive of those emissions is methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
In the most up to date scientific way of looking at climate change, the IPCC (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 1.5-degree report talks about long-lived greenhouse gases (e.g. carbon dioxide) and short-lived greenhouse gases (e.g. methane).
Compared to carbon dioxide, methane traps over 80 times more heat. Over a 20-year time horizon, methane has a global warming potential of 86 times carbon dioxide. This contrasts to what you may have heard, that methane has 34 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide – that’s over a 100-year time frame. However, methane is a short-lived gas with a life span of 10-15 years. Hence, we believe the global warming potential of methane over 20 years is a much better reflection of its real impact on global warming. It helps to highlight that in the short term especially, methane is a highly potent greenhouse gas. Additionally, the 20-year time scale is the time in which we need to act. We don’t have 100 years to change the impact of global warming.
If global livestock methane emissions could be reduced by at least 90%, the world could ‘buy a couple more decades’ to deal with longer-lived gases, such as carbon dioxide.
Our goals are to 1) Slow climate change, 2) Improve financials for dairy and beef farmers, 3) Improve viability of the world’s oceans, 4) Improve the economic lives of First Nations people and 5)Make more protein available in the food chain.