Global Dairy and GHG Emissions

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These findings were presented in Poland towards the end of 2018 at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24), during an event hosted by the Dairy Sustainability Framework and the Global Dairy Platform.

The analysis calculates GHG emissions from the dairy sector over a ten-year period (2005–2015) and reports reductions in all regions of the world. On average, GHG emitted in the production of milk has decreased in “emissions intensity” by almost 11% from 2,8 to 2,5 kg carbon equivalents per kg of product produced.

Over the same period, global dairy production has grown by 30% to meet consumers’ demand for high-quality nutritious food products. This growth has been achieved through increasing milk yields and numbers of cows. As a result of increased global output, absolute emissions rose by 18% globally. More importantly, the FAO notes that without the efficiency improvements made by the sector, total emissions from dairy would have increased by almost 38%.

Donald Moore, executive director of the Global Dairy Platform and chairman of the Dairy Sustainability Framework, which commissioned the study, stated, “More than six billion people around the world regularly consume milk and dairy foods as an affordable, accessible, nutrient-rich food, supplying energy and significant amounts of high-quality protein and micronutrients. Analysis from independent authorities such as the UN FAO, provide important guidance for the sector in its efforts to responsibly produce high-quality nutrition in ways that respect the environment, the farmers that produce it and the animals it comes from. The dairy sector recognises the responsibility it has to continuously improve its performance. We are on the right track, but there is still more to do and the importance of timely, quality data to help track and manage performance cannot be underestimated.” To view the fact sheet of the FAO analysis, click on top- Link. 

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