The Sustainable Food Trust (SFT) takes issue with a recent study undertaken in Germany and cited in an article by Damien Carrington in the Guardian newspaper under the headline ‘Organic meat production just as bad for climate, study finds’.
Virtually all of these papers and the FAO’s figure of 14.5 percent are flawed because they employ a formula for equating the climate impact of methane emissions with that of carbon dioxide— through the unit known as “CO2 equivalent “— which is highly misleading.
Today, IATP and GRAIN jointly published a first of its kind study that quantifies emissions from 35 of the world’s largest meat and dairy companies and scrutinizes their climate plans. What do these companies intend to do to reduce their share of emissions for the world to avoid climate catastrophe?
Because of the difference in nature between methane and carbon dioxide we should cease expressing the climate effect of methane in carbon dioxide equivalents. This has important implications for policy as well as for the assessment of different strategies for minimizing the climate effect of production or lifestyles. Culling all cows may sound like a great proposition if we use the conventional metrics but is actually a rather futile effort to curb climate change.
Is the way we farm animals and turn them into food part of the problem or the solution to the myriad of social and environmental issues we face today?