Past Event

Are livestock always bad for the planet? Report launch and panel discussion

27 September 2021 9:30–11:00

The global debate on climate change is focusing attention on reducing emissions from livestock production, particularly ruminants. As a result, advocates of a ‘protein transition’ emphasise the need for a major shift to plant-based diets. Others call for more space devoted to nature conservation, rewilding and forestry projects.

This event will discuss what this means for pastoralists – extensive livestock keepers often living in marginal areas and making use of highly challenging environments. We ask whether pastoralists are being unfairly targeted as major polluters and causes of climate change. Are the models being used appropriate and the data accurate? What are the benefits of certain types of livestock production system, and can these offset the costs? What would a more differentiated perspective for climate policy look like?

The event will launch a major report produced by the European Research Council-funded PASTRES programme, jointly published together with a range of collaborators with deep knowledge of pastoral systems across the world. The report reviews the debates, pointing to the uncertainties and assumptions in life-cycle modelling approaches used to calculate emissions. These are often biased against extensive, mobile livestock production systems which remain poorly understood. A more integrated approach is recommended, encompassing the wider benefits of pastoral systems for livelihoods, carbon sequestration and wider ecosystem services, nutrition, food security and incomes. The report highlights the need to highlight benefits of pastoral systems across the world, while seeking appropriate climate mitigating measures.


  • Antonello Franca (Institute for Animal Production in the Mediterranean)


Key contacts

Image of Nathan Oxley

Nathan Oxley

Impact Communications and Engagement Officer


+44 (0)1273 915826


About this event

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