Economics at your fingertips  

Options to reduce the environmental effects of livestock production – Comparison of two economic models

Elke Stehfest, Maurits van den Berg, Geert Woltjer (), Siwa Msangi () and Henk Westhoek

Agricultural Systems, 2013, vol. 114, issue C, 38-53

Abstract: Global livestock production accounts for about 80% of global land use, is one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss, and is responsible for about 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions. These impacts are likely to become more pressing as a consequence of rising demands for meat, eggs and dairy products. Theoretically, these impacts could be reduced by making the global food system more efficient or by dietary changes, as recent studies suggest. However, multiple feedbacks exist in the agricultural system, which may reduce the effectiveness of any promising change. Estimation of these effects is highly uncertain and depends on the tools applied. In this study, we used two different economic models (IMPACT and LEITAP), coupled to the integrated assessment model IMAGE, to examine different options to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture: dietary changes (less meat and dairy), increased production efficiency, and reduced food waste. In a detailed model comparison, we assessed the model results on consumption, agricultural production, commodity prices, land-use change and greenhouse gas emissions, and identified feedbacks in the global agricultural system. In both models, all options resulted in a reduction in agricultural land use and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as in agricultural commodity prices. The model results show that for most options less than the theoretical environmental gains would actually be achieved, due to price feedbacks leading to increased consumption and less intensive production. On the other hand, larger than expected effects could occur as a result of reduced European consumption.

Keywords: Land use; Livestock; Greenhouse gas emissions; IMPACT; IMAGE; LEITAP (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (7) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2012.07.002

Access Statistics for this article

Agricultural Systems is currently edited by J.W. Hansen, P.K. Thornton and P.B.M. Berentsen

More articles in Agricultural Systems from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Nithya Sathishkumar ().

Page updated 2021-04-01
Handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:114:y:2013:i:c:p:38-53