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Climate Change and livestock: what next?

Event date: 
Monday, December 2, 2019 - 08:45 to 16:45


This conference will start with an introduction to the impact of livestock on climate change and delegates will then be informed of the evidence-based solutions for mitigating environmental footprint of livestock production and adapting our livestock systems to the changing climate. This unique event will provide the attendees with all you need to know about the latest developments around climate change and future livestock production.

The global population is increasing, on average, by 83 million annually and is expected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050. Along with a GDP-driven nutrition transition towards a Western-style diet, the demand for food and animal products is rapidly growing. While livestock production supports livelihoods and food security globally, it is also responsible for around 14% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Beef and dairy production, as well as activities including feed production, ruminant enteric fermentation and manure management, are major contributors to livestock greenhouse gas emissions. Technical solutions mainly focus on improved feed production, animal breeding and management, soil fertilisation strategies, soil carbon sequestration, land-set-aside and agroforestry. Indeed, research evidence shows that optimising livestock production systems can reduce livestock greenhouse gas emission intensities by up to 30%. However, mitigation strategies must ensure long-term efficacy, sustainability and resilience; while consumer food choices can also play a role in reducing the impact.

Climate change in-turn affects livestock production because it increases competition for natural resources; challenges the productivity, availability and quality of feed; and potentially impairs animal productivity, health, fertility and biodiversity. Proposed livestock adaptation measures to the changing climate include increased pasture utilisation and feed biodiversity; development of mixed crop-livestock systems; optimisation of feeding strategies; rotation of crops and herds between different locations; breeding climate-tolerant livestock and plants; and supporting farmer education and adaptive capacity.

Reducing the environmental footprint of livestock production and adapting our livestock production systems to the changing climate to support global food security is possible. But we need to identify the most effective solutions to each problem, and implement these solutions via strong political will and action at both a local and global scale.


This will be a unique opportunity to learn about, and discuss with experts in the field, climate change and livestock production, whilst expanding your relevant network and developing new partnerships. This event is aimed at people of all career stages and will be of particular interest to the following:

  • Stakeholders across the animal food production chain, including feed producers, farmers, consultants, animal nutritionists and breeders, forage breeders and agronomists, machinery and precision technology developers and suppliers.
  • Stakeholders across the animal food processing chain, including wholesalers, processors, and retailers.
  • Specialists in all areas of livestock production, greenhouse gas emissions, climate change and environmental modelling; as well as students and early-career researchers in these fields.
  • Those who are seeking evidence-based information around livestock and climate change and eager to learn about realistic technical solutions for mitigation of livestock greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation of livestock to the changing climate.
  • Consumers and those involved in policy-making, who are keen to make informed decisions at individual and national level, respectively.

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