OpenFields

1033: Dairy greenhouse gases

This paper is taken from ‘Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the Dairy Sector - A Life Cycle Assessment’, a result of a collaboration between the International Dairy Federation (IDF) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Year of Publication2010

Only 2.7% of world GHG emissions are attributable to dairy cattle. This increases to 4% when meat products from dairy cows are included. The emissions per unit milk were highest in developing regions and lowest in North America and Europe and higher in grazing systems than mixed systems. Globally, emissions before the farm gate contribute 93% of the total. Methane contributes most - about 52% followed by nitrous oxide and CO2. Although intensification produces less GHGs per unit of output, its impacts on eutrophication of water, biodiversity conservation and social arrangements could be negative.

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