Greenhouse gas emissions from livestock farming in the European Union account for 17% of total EU emissions and cause more damage to the climate than all the cars on the road, Greenpeace Europe said on Tuesday.
Data show that emissions from livestock farming increased by 39 million tonnes of CO2 (+6%) between 2007 and 2018. This is equivalent to an increase of 8.4 million cars on European roads, Greenpeace compared in a report.
The animals on Europe's farms emit 502 million tonnes of CO2 per year. Adding indirect emissions, such as those from animal meat production, crops, deforestation, etc., the figure rises to 704 million tonnes of CO2.
The EU is currently working on a new climate law, which updates the climate targets and defines the EU's agricultural policy for the next seven years. Greenpeace Europe hopes that Europe will reduce livestock numbers and end subsidies for factory farms.
A 50% reduction in livestock would eliminate 250 million tonnes of CO2, according to the organisation.
"European leaders have danced around the climate impact of animal farming for too long,” said Marco Contiero, director of Greenpeace’s agriculture unit.
“Science is clear, the numbers as well: we can't avoid the worst of climate breakdown if politicians keep defending industrial production of meat and dairy," he added.
The Brussels Times