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The meat and dairy industry is not ‘climate neutral’, despite some eye-catching claims

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By illuminem briefings 🌎

· 2 min read


illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Conversation or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Recent peer-reviewed studies in livestock science journals have claimed that the meat and dairy industries could achieve climate neutrality  
These include assertions that the US dairy industry could be climate neutral by 2050 with only a 1%-1.5% reduction in methane emissions annually, and similar claims for other livestock sectors in the US and Australia

🔭 The context: Methane, a byproduct of livestock digestion, is a potent greenhouse gas contributing significantly to global warming 
Livestock production is responsible for about a third of human-caused emissions. These claims of climate neutrality are being scrutinized due to the potential for misrepresenting the science and greenwashing

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The paper in the journal Environmental Research Letters by Donal Murphy-Bokern and co-author challenges these claims
It highlights risks in using the new GWP* metric, which shifts the definition of climate neutrality, potentially allowing high-emission sectors like livestock to claim neutrality by contributing less additional warming, not stopping it entirely

⏭️ What's next: The paper underscores the need for clear and accurate climate metrics and highlights the importance of reducing emissions across all sectors. It also suggests that claims of climate neutrality in the livestock sector could lead to confusion and undermine efforts in combating climate change

💬 One quote: "These claims represent a distorted understanding of the science."

📈 One stat: Livestock production accounts for about one-third of human-caused emissions.

Click for more news covering the latest on climate change

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