Marshall Chase writes on GreenBiz.com:
The world faces some interesting choices in the next few years. As illustrated by the ongoing Copenhagen negotiations, we have to decide whether and how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a wide range of sectors, from energy generation to transportation and beyond.
The livestock industry faces particular uncertainty in this environment. According to various studies, livestock accounts for somewhere between 18 percent and 51 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from human activity — primarily from cows burping methane. Meat production is expected to double by 2050, at the same time that the world attempts to drastically reduce overall GHG emissions. Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress recently prevented the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating livestock GHG emissions.
Despite the Congressional ban (only a short-term measure in a country where livestock accounts for less than 5 percent of national GHG emissions), it is clear that any successful, long-term global solution to climate change will have to include livestock.