'A Low-Carbon Livestock Sector is Possible', Says UN Chief

The head of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has called for sustainable, low-carbon practices to be built into the developing world’s growing livestock sector.

Published: January 23, 2018

Speaking at the recent 10th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture in Belin, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, said:

“With improved and climate-smart practices, we can quickly put in place more sustainable and greener livestock supply chains…A low-carbon livestock sector is possible to achieve”.

The FAO estimates that livestock generates 14.5 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions from human sources and the industry is expected to expand as demand grows within developing countries.

While the Director-General was keen to point out that an increase in demand for animal products is a good sign among some of the world’s poorest communities, it isn’t without potential pitfalls. This includes how the sector’s growth can align with the Paris climate agreement to reduce carbon emissions and limit global temperatures to below 2 degrees.

However, the FAO believes that emissions can be cut by up to 30 percent by adopting a variety of climate-smart agricultural practices.

These include greater uptake of energy from waste, recycling nutrients, regenerative grazing and managing pasturelands so that carbon is stored within the soil.