“U.S. pork producers are among some of the most efficient and environmentally conscious food producers in the world,” says Allan Stokes, director of environmental programs for the Pork Checkoff. “Producers have a long history and tradition of providing a high quality, safe and nutrition dense food source to help feed the world’s population. The industry’s carbon footprint initiative is actively researching ways to increase production efficiencies in environmentally sustainable ways essentially reducing GHG emissions per pound of food produced.”
According to the 2008 United Nation’s, Framework Convention on Climate Change November 2008 technical report on Challenges and opportunities for mitigation in the agricultural sector, agriculture contributes 10 to 12 percent of the total global man-made GHG emissions. On a global scale, the main sources of non-CO2 GHG emissions from agriculture are: soils, enteric fermentation, manure management and rice cultivation. Most notably, the report says GHGs from land-use change, including deforestation in tropical areas, are (in most countries) associated with agricultural activities and exceed emissions from all other agricultural sources.
Livestock is not a major contributor to GHG emissions. And more specifically, pork production’s carbon footprint is a small fraction of U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, says Stokes. “Animal agriculture as a whole contributes a small part of U.S.GHG emissions. According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in 2007 only 2.8 percent of U.S. GHG emissions came from animal agriculture and pork production contributes even less–a mere one-third of one percent (0.33%) of total U.S. GHG emissions.”
To learn more about Checkoff’s work in this area and more specifics on pork’s carbon footprint, click here.
For more information, contact Allan Stokes, AStokes@pork.org, 515-223-3447.