A Secret Weapon against Climate Change

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Tanya Khotin provides insight into the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through better land-use practices.  

Land use activity contributes approximately 24% of all global greenhouse emissions or more than 10 Gigaton. New ground-breaking research by the @Inevitable Policy Response (IPR) shows that not only will we reduce these emissions without much sacrifice, but we will reverse the damage by allowing forests and nature to return to what they do best — sequester emissions, aid biodiversity, and protect our air, water, and soil.  Land use will go from being a net emitter to a net carbon sink. This is a revolutionary concept that opens a lot of opportunities for investors. 

Land-use or rather land-abuse can be traced to mainly three things – beef production, industrial agriculture, and, of course, how we manage our forests and other natural areas. Let’s quickly discuss these, starting with beef, whose production to satisfy the expensive tastes of initially the Developed and now the Developing world has directly caused deadly deforestation and biodiversity loss (not to mention premature mortality, and not only of the cows).

One very NOT fun fact: we are providing housing, food, and medical care for 1bn cows (and 60 + billion chickens, pigs, etc.) while many of our planet’s 8 billion people are malnourished, homeless, and lack healthcare. And we know where the beef is. Three of the top exporters of beef –Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay — have more cows than people. *

Globally, beef is a whopper – 14% of total global emissions – roughly equal to global transportation emissions. And it’s the worst kind of emissions – methane – which has over 80x the warming power of CO2 over the first 20 years after it reaches the atmosphere. And even though beef is less than 20% of our diets, its supply chain is 80% of the greenhouse emissions in the food sector.

 

Key points include:

  • Three mutually reinforcing mechanisms
  • Energy for industry and heavy transportation sectors
  • Ag tech and sustainable ag

 

Read the full article, Land-use: a secret weapon in the war against climate change, on LinkedIn.