FAO Publishes Report on Dairy Sector Emissions

20 April 2010: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has released a study titled "Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the Dairy Sector: A Life Cycle Assessment." The study examines the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with milk production and processing for a variety of farming systems.

The study introduces and applies a Life Cycle Assessment methodology for the dairy sector, reporting emissions per kilogram of fat and protein corrected milk (FPCM). The study estimates that the dairy sector emitted almost two billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2007, accounting for approximately 4% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Regionally, the highest emissions per kilogram of FPCM were found in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, North Africa and the Near East, and the lowest emissions per kilogram of FPCM were found in North America and Europe.

The study shows that grassland systems have higher emissions than mixed farming systems. It also notes that there is a need to assess a broader range of environmental issues associated with the dairy sector, including water resources and biodiversity loss. [FAO Press Release] [The Report]