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Re-framing the climate change debate in the livestock sector: mitigation and adaptation options

Re-framing the climate change debate in the livestock sector: mitigation and adaptation options

Rivera-Ferre, M. G., López-i-Gelats, F., Howden, M., Smith, P., Morton, J. F. and Herrero, M. (2016) Re-framing the climate change debate in the livestock sector: mitigation and adaptation options. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 7 (6). pp. 869-892. ISSN 1757-7780 (Print), 1757-7799 (Online) (doi:10.1002/wcc.421)

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Abstract

Livestock play a key role in the climate change debate. As with crop-based agriculture, the sector is both a net greenhouse gas emitter and vulnerable to climate change. At the same time, it is an essential food source for millions of people worldwide, with other functions apart from food security such as savings and insurance. By comparison with crop-based agriculture, the interactions of livestock and climate change have been much less studied. The debate around livestock is confusing due to the coexistence of multiple livestock farming systems with differing functions for humans, greenhouse gas (GHG) emission profiles and different characteristics and boundary issues in their measurement, which are often pooled together. Consequently, the diversity of livestock farming systems and their functions to human systems are poorly represented and the role of the livestock sector in the climate change debate has not been adequately addressed. In this article, building upon the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report (IPCC 5AR) findings, we review recent literature on livestock and climate change so as better to include this diversity in the adaptation and mitigation debate around livestock systems. For comparative purposes we use the same categories of managerial, technical, behavioral and policy-related action to organize both mitigation and adaptation options. We conclude that different livestock systems provide different functions to different human systems and require different strategies, so they cannot readily be pooled together. We also observe that, for the different livestock systems, several win-win strategies exist that effectively tackle both mitigation and adaptation options as well as food security.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Livestock; Climate change; Adaptation; Mitigation
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
S Agriculture > SF Animal culture
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Development Studies Research Group
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Livelihoods & Institutions Department
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2017 11:53
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: GREAT a
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/16583

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