Climate Change and the Global Dairy Sector
The global dairy sector is extremely diverse in terms of scale, production systems and geography. Dairy farmers and processors the world over work to produce highly nutritious foods in a sustainable and responsible way to meet the demands of the growing world population. Farmers, more than most, face the impacts of climate change on a regular basis and as such are very aware of the need to act quickly and strategically on environmental issues.
The analysis undertaken by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), calculates green house gas (GHG) emissions from the dairy sector over a 10-year time period. The study highlights the progress that has been achieved and provides guidance on areas where future action should be considered.
All dairy regions have improved through increased productivity per animal, increasing farm management efficiency and increased feed efficiency.
There is a clear case for immediate and more ambitious action. Dairy farmers are already part of the solution to limit climate change, but there is an urgent need to accelerate and intensify the sector’s response to avoid climate tipping points. While new research and technologies will continue to be developed, many mitigation options are already available and their adoption can be accelerated. Further delaying adoption will result in a greater amount of emissions overall, given that CO2 emissions accumulate in the atmosphere for hundreds to thousands of years. Even with implementation of best practice and technologies, it is likely that some residual emissions will remain in the future. The dairy industry will therefore need to also consider how these residual emissions will be offset. Achieving substantial net reductions in GHG emissions from the dairy sector will require action in the three broad areas of
The Dairy Sector – A Snapshot
This content is partly courtesy of our partners at DSF
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