Livestock Demand, Global Land Use Changes, and Induced Greenhouse Gas Emissions

With increasing global population and income, the demand for livestock products continues to grow and is likely to grow in future as well. This raises concerns about the implications of such growth for the environment. A well-known Computable General Equilibrium model (CGE), GTAP- BIO, is used to project the growth of livestock output between 2004 and 2022 and to estimate the land use changes and associated Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. Results indicate that the in- creased livestock output leads to considerable increase in pasture (about 45 million hectares) and decrease in forest area (about 44 million hectares) between 2004 and 2022. Estimated emissions associated with this change are about 20 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2 e) during 2004-2022 or an annual average of 1.1 billion tons. Results also indicate that a significant portion of the emissions (about 11%) can be reduced if consumer preferences could be altered. In practice, this will require policy interventions that promote substitution of non-ruminant for ruminant meat products.