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The Key Role of Production Efficiency Changes in Livestock Methane Emission Mitigation

Chang, Jinfeng and Peng, Shushi and Yin, Yi and Ciais, Philippe and Havlik, Petr and Herrero, Mario (2021) The Key Role of Production Efficiency Changes in Livestock Methane Emission Mitigation. AGU Advances, 2 (2). Art. No. e2021AV000391. ISSN 2576-604X. doi:10.1029/2021AV000391.

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The livestock sector is the largest source of anthropogenic methane emissions and is projected to increase in the future with the increased demand for livestock products. Here, we compare livestock methane emissions and emission intensities, defined by the amount of methane emitted per unit of animal proteins, estimated by different methodologies, and identify mitigation potentials in different regions of the world based on possible future projections. We show that emission intensity decreased for most livestock categories globally during 2000–2018, due to an increasing protein-production efficiency, and the IPCC Tier 2 method should be used for capturing the temporal changes in the emission intensities. We further show that efforts on the demand-side to promote balanced, healthy, and environmentally sustainable diets in most countries will not be sufficient to mitigate livestock methane emissions without parallel efforts to improve production efficiency. The latter efforts have much greater mitigating effects than demand-side efforts, and hence should be prioritized in a few developing countries that contribute most of the mitigation potential.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper ItemData ItemData
Chang, Jinfeng0000-0003-4463-7778
Peng, Shushi0000-0001-5098-726X
Yin, Yi0000-0003-4750-4997
Ciais, Philippe0000-0001-8560-4943
Havlik, Petr0000-0001-5551-5085
Herrero, Mario0000-0002-7741-5090
Additional Information:© 2021. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Issue Online: 26 May 2021; Version of Record online: 26 May 2021; Manuscript accepted: 02 April 2021; Manuscript revised: 29 March 2021; Manuscript received: 23 January 2021. Jinfeng Chang is supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. XDA26010303). Philippe Ciais acknowledges support from the CLAND Convergence Institute of the French National Research Agency (ANR). Mario Herrero acknowledges funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through the MERLIN project (INV-023682). The authors declare no conflict of interest. Data Availability Statement: The data used in this study are available in the Supporting Information. The raw data are from the FAO: and The results of this study, and the R code and the parameter files used to produce them are available at following website:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Chinese Academy of SciencesXDA26010303
Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (ANR)UNSPECIFIED
Bill and Melinda Gates FoundationINV-023682
Subject Keywords:climate change; livestock; methane emission; mitigation
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210414-145511582
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Chang, J., Peng, S., Yin, Y., Ciais, P., Havlik, P., & Herrero, M. (2021). The key role of production efficiency changes in livestock methane emission mitigation. AGU Advances, 2, e2021AV000391.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:108735
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:19 Apr 2021 18:31
Last Modified:27 May 2021 17:14

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