NFU criticises EU gas emission report

The National Farming Union (NFU) has criticised a European Union (EU) report on gas emissions from livestock, questioning the methodology used.

The ‘Evaluation of the livestock sector’s contribution to the EU greenhouse gas emissions’ was commissioned by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission and analyses emissions from the livestock sector in Europe. It also provides an overview of the impact of the EU livestock sector on biodiversity, the potential for mitigation and how policy-makers might respond.

Although the NFU joined other experts to work on the draft ahead of its publication, a spokesman said: “The NFU believes that there is considerable uncertainty associated with the calculation of its results.”

NFU director of policy Martin Haworth said: “While the report does estimate the greenhouse gas emissions from some imports, including Brazilian beef, these calculations use a different methodology to that applied to EU production, suggesting that the results are not directly comparable.”

The report does acknowledge the limitations of some of the data (particularly in relation to assessing land use changes) and also highlights the difficulty in comparing emissions from major imported animal products with those in Europe.

The EU evaluation builds upon previous reports, such as the 2006 Livestock’s Long Shadow, which, according to the NFU, led to exaggerated headlines about livestock emissions. 

The report comes hot on the heels of the Eblex Roadmap Part II, published in November, but the industry is still waiting for the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation’s (FAO) long-awaited beef report analysis.

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