Carbon Footprint Assessment and Mitigation Options of Dairy under Chinese Conditions
With the rapid human population growth and economic development, demand for animal products continues to increase and livestock production rapidly expands. Greenhouse gases (GHG) emission from livestock research 7.52 billion tons CO2-eq per year, accounting for 50% of agricultural emissions and 18% of global anthropogenic GHG emissions (FAO, 2014), making it become an important source of GHG emissions. The Chinese livestock production emits 373 GHG of million tons CO2-eq. Methane (CH4) emitted from enteric fermentation is 10.74 million tons (equivalent to 225.6 million tons CO2-eq), accounting for 60.7% of total livestock GHG emissions. CH4 emitted from manure management is 3.33 million tons (equivalent to 69.9 million tons CO2-eq), accounting for 18.9% of total livestock GHG emissions. Nitrous oxide (N2O) emitted from manure management is 0.25 million tons (equivalent to 77.2 million tons CO2-eq), accounted for 20.4% of the total livestock GHG emissions (MEE, 2018). The enteric fermentation and manure management contribute 40% to agricultural GHG emissions.
Expansion of livestock production results in high demand of feedstuffs, bringing greater pressure on natural resources. It is of particular concern that the livestock sector has already been a major user of natural resources. For example, approximately 35% of total cropland and 20% of green water have been used for animal feed production (Opio et al., 2013). Feed-related emissions represent about half of total emissions from livestock supply chains (Gerber et al., 2013). Therefore, it is very important to evaluate GHG emissions from the whole life cycle of livestock production.
Besides improved manure utilization and water usage efficiency, management of carbon emissions and carbon footprint is highlighted as an important research topic. This project is expected to identify and execute appropriate interventions for reducing carbon footprint and economic cost of dairy production.
Dong H. 2019. Carbon Footprint Assessment and Mitigation Options of Dairy under Chinese Conditions. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).