Role of livestock and agriculture production system in Low-carbon economy Dr.Kedar Karki. M.V.Sc.

Preventive veterinary medicine,Senior Veterinary Officer,Central veterinary laboratory Tripureshwor ,Kthmandu,4261938,9841258735, Abstract: A Low-Carbon Economy is a popular term that refers to an Economy which has a minimal output of Greenhouse Gas emissions into the biosphere, but specifically refers to the greenhouse gas Carbon Dioxide. Recently, most of scientific and public opinion has come to the conclusion there is an unreasonable accumulation of Greenhouse Gases(especially CO2) in our atmosphere; our species is to blame for this accumulation, and the overconcentrations of these gases will fundamentally change our climate dangerously in the foreseeable future. Globally implemented Low-Carbon Economy's therefore, are proposed as a means to avoid catastrophic climate change, and as a precursor to an ideal zero-carbon economy. Key Word: Low-Carbon Economy, Greenhouse Gas, Carbon capture and storage, Primary Sector, Crops, Glasshouse crops, Irrigated arable crops, Livestock, Kyoto protocol, General Background: Nuclear Power, or, the proposed strategies of Carbon capture and storage have been proposed as the primary means to achieve a Low-Carbon Economy while continuing to exploit non-renewable resources; there is concern, however, with the matter of spent-nuclear-fuel storage, and the uncertainty of costs and time needed to successfully implement Carbon capture and storage worldwide and with guarantees that the stored emissions will not leak into the biosphere. Alternatively, many have proposed renewable energy should be the main basis of a Low-Carbon Economy , but, they have their associated problems of highcost and inefficiency; this is changing, however, since investment and production have been growing significantly in recent times( Furthermore, regardless of the effect to the biosphere by GHG emissions, the growing issue of peak oil may also be reason enough for a transition to a Low-Carbon Economy. The aim of a Low-Carbon Economy is to integrate all aspects of itself from its manufacturing, agriculture, transportation and power-generation etc. around technologies that produce energy and materials with little GHG emission; and thus, around populations, buildings, machines and devices which use those energies and materials efficiently, and, dispose of or recycle its wastes so as to 1

have a minimal output of Greenhouse Gaseses. Furthermore, it has been proposed that to make the transition to an Low-Carbon Economy economically viable we would have to attribute a cost(per unit output) to Greenhouse Gases through means such as emissions trading and/or a carbon tax. Primary Sector involved in manipulation of Carbon economy:


Foodstuffs should be produced as close as possible to the final consumers (preferably within walking/cycling distance). This will reduce the amount of carbon-based energy necessary to transport the foodstuffs. Consumers can also buy fresh food rather than processed food, since carbon-based energy might be used to process the food. Cooking presents another opportunity to conserve energy. Energy could be saved if farmers produced more foods that people would eat raw. Also, most of the agricultural facilities in the developed world are mechanized due to rural electrification. Rural electrification has produced significant productivity gains, but it also uses a lot of energy. For this and other reasons (such as transport costs) in the low-carbon, rural areas will rely heavily on locally and renewably produced electricity. Irrigation can be one of the main components of an agricultural facility's energy consumption. In parts of California it can be up to 90% ( the low carbon economy, irrigation equipment will be maintained and continually updated and farms will use less irrigation water.

Crops Different crops require different amounts of energy input. For example, glasshouse crops, irrigated crops, and orchards require a lot of energy to maintain, while row crops and field crops don’t need as much maintenance. Those glasshouse and irrigated crops that do exist will incorporate the following improvements ( Glasshouse crops:


• • • • • •

environmental control systems heat recovery using condensers heat storage using buffer tanks heat retention using thermal screens alternative fuels (e.g. waste wood) cogeneration (heat and power)

Irrigated arable crops:
• •

soil moisture measurement to regulate irrigation variable speed drives on pumps

Livestock Livestock operations can also use a lot of energy depending on how they are run. Feed lots use animal feed made from corn, soybeans, and other crops. Energy must be expended to produce these crops, process and transport them. Free-range animals find their own vegetation to feed on. The farmer may expend energy to take care of that vegetation, but not nearly as much as the farmer who grows cereal and oil-seed crops. Many livestock operations currently use a lot of energy to water their livestock. In the low-carbon economy, such operations will use more water conservation methods such as rainwater collection, water cisterns, etc and they will also pump/distribute that water with on-site renewable energy sources (most likely wind and solar).Due to rural electrification, most agricultural facilities in the developed world use a lot of electricity. In a low-carbon economy, farms will be run and equipped to allow for greater energy efficiency. The dairy industry, for example, will incorporate the following changes: ( Irrigated Dairy
• • • • • • • • • •

heat recovery on milk vats variable speed drives on motors/pumps heat recovery from hot water wash soil moisture measurement to regulate irrigation biodigester with cogen (heat & power) vat wrap solar water heating ripple control ice bank chemical substitute for hot water wash 3

Forestry In the low-carbon economy, forestry operations will be focused on low-impact practices and regrowth. Forest managers will make sure that they do not disturb soil based carbon reserves too much. Specialized tree farms will be the main source of material for many products. Quick maturing tree varieties will be grown on short rotations in order to maximize output

Initial steps Internationally, the most prominent early step in the direction of a low-carbon economy was the signing of the Kyoto Protocol, which came into force on February 16, 2005, under which most industrialized countries committed to reduce their carbon emissions.[15][16] Importantly, all member nations of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development except the United States have ratified the protocol.

Asia and Ocenia

Australia Although the Australian Government has been reluctant to implement any emission reduction targets or regulations, the market has seen the voluntary development of carbon neutral businesses. Many Australian carbon offset companies offer carbon neutrality of businesses based on life cycle impact assessments of varying detail. One offset provider,the Carbon Reduction Institute, has produced a Low Carbon Directory, to promote a low carbon economy in Australia. As recent as December 2007, the Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd has signed the Kyoto protocol, the first document he signed as prime minister of Australia.

China In China, the city of Dongtan is to be built to be produce zero net greenhouse gas emissions 4

Europe Iceland By exploiting geothermal energy and hydropower, renewable energy in Iceland provides over 70% of the nation's primary energy needs since 1999, and 99.9% of Iceland's electricity ( As a result Iceland's carbon emissions per capita are 62% lower than those of the United States despite using more primary energy per capita ( expects to use 100% renewable energy by 2050 by generating hydrogen fuel from renewable energy sources.

United Kingdom In the United Kingdom, a draft Climate Change Bill outlining a framework for the transition to a low-carbon economy was published on March 13, 2007. This legislation would require a 60% cut in the UK's carbon emissions by 2050 (compared to 1990 levels), with an intermediate target of between 26% and 32% by 2020 ( If approved, the UK would likely become the first country to set such a long-range and significant carbon reduction target into law (,2 049156.story). Cities Companies are planning large scale developments without using fossil fuels. Development plans such as those by World Wide Assets LLC for entire cities using only geothermal energy for electricity, geothermal desalination, and employing full recycling systems for water and waste are under development (2006) in Mexico and Australia. Zero-carbon economy

A zero-carbon (also called non-carbon or post-carbon) economy is a step beyond a low-carbon economy. This may include the complete elimation of the use of fossil fuels and be based on renewable alternative energy sources.


As of 2007, Iceland and Sweden, with their petroleum phase-outs, are making big progresses in this direction, with a lot of organizations in the rest of countries, promoting also zero-carbon. Mitigation efforts in developed and developing countries:

In order to reconcile economic development with mitigating carbon emissions, developing countries need particular support, both financial and technical. One of the means of achieving this is the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The World Bank's Prototype Carbon Fund ( is a public private partnership that operates within the CDM.In July 2005 the U.S., China, India, Australia, as well as Japan and South Korea, agreed to the Asia-Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate. The pact aims to encourage technological development that may mitigate global warming, without coordinated emissions targets. The highest goal of the pact is to find and promote new technology that aid both growth and a cleaner environment simultaneously. An example is the Methane to Markets initiative which reduces methane emissions into the atmosphere by capturing the gas and using it for growth enhancing clean energy generation ( html,). Critics have raised concerns that the pact undermines the Kyoto Protocol (,). However, none of these initiatives suggest a quantitative cap on the emissions from developing countries. This is considered as a particularly difficult policy proposal as the economic growth of developing countries are proportionally reflected in the growth of greenhouse emissions. Critics of mitigation often argue that, the developing countries' drive to attain a comparable living standard to the developed countries would doom the attempt at mitigation of global warming. Critics also argue that holding down emissions would shift the human cost of global warming from a general one to one that was borne most heavily by the poorest populations on the planet. Population Control The population explosion is a fundamental factor that has led to global warming. Because of this, various organizations promote population control as a means for mitigating global warming (http ( Proposed measures include improving access to family planning and reproductive health care and information, reducing natalistic politics, public education about the consequences of continued population growth, and improving access of women to education and economic opportunities.Population control efforts are impeded by their being somewhat of a taboo in some countries against considering any such efforts 6

( ( Also, various religions discourage or prohibit some or all forms of birth control.Population size has a different per capita effect on global warming in different countries, since the per capita production of anthropogenic greenhouse gases varies greatly by country ( ).

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