Livestock development and climate change: The benefits of advanced greenhouse gas inventories
This booklet (PDF) by CGIAR shows how advanced inventory methods (Tier 2) can support climate change and productivity goals and help broaden countries’ policy options. The authors show that Livestock development and climate change outcomes can support each other. More productive and efficient farm systems generally produce food at much lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit of product. However, many countries use simple (Tier 1) methods for estimating livestock emissions in their GHG inventories. Tier 1 inventories estimate emissions by multiplying the total number of animals with a fixed emission factor. This approach assumes that emissions per animal do not change and are the same for both young and mature, breeding and non-breeding animals. In contrast, Tier 2 based inventories use information on the animal’s gross energy or dry matter intake to estimate their actual emissions. Tier 1 methods are unable to capture the reductions in emissions intensity that result from improvements to livestock farming. An inventory based on Tier 2 methods is by its nature more detailed than a Tier 1 inventory, but it does not have to be much more complicated. The key to success is to start with as simple a structure for Tier 2 methods as possible. The inventory itself can then guide priority areas for further improvements in terms of data sources and detailed characterisation of different livestock systems.