Join us for Acterra's Virtual Lecture: The Role of Agriculture in Climate Change: Livestock, Diets and Soil Carbon Sequestration. Our aim is to present a diverse range of views to help advance the current conversation around climate change and sustainability, and allow deeper reflections on these challenging issues.
Please note: in no way does Acterra endorse or support the expressed opinions of any of our speakers.
About the Speaker:
Professor Pete Smith is a Professor of Soils and Global Change at the Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Aberdeen (Scotland, UK) and Science Director of the Scottish Climate Change Centre of Expertise (ClimateXChange). His interests include climate change mitigation, soils, agriculture, food systems, ecosystem services and modelling. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, a Fellow of the Institute of Soil Scientists, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a Foreign Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy, a Fellow of the European Science Academy, and a Fellow of the Royal Society (London).
Food production and distribution contributes up to a third of global greenhouse gases emitted by human activity. Livestock production is responsible for 58% of all emissions from agriculture, and half of these emissions come from ruminants, such as cattle. Some people have suggested that grazing animals can sequester carbon in the soil, and even that grazing could help solve climate change, but the numbers do not add up. Ruminant meat has a 10-100 times worse impact on the climate than plant-based foods, as well as 10-100 times worse impact on land use, water use, air pollution and water pollution. The best thing for the climate, and other aspects of the environment, is to eat less meat and dairy.