Carbon targets make financial sense insists Eblex

Reaching the 11% target set by Eblex of reducing greenhouse gas emissions makes financial sense as much as an environmental one, Eblex R&D head Duncan Puller has claimed.

Puller said in a talk at the Langford Food Conference that the targets said in Eblex’s environmental roadmap brought plenty of opportunities for livestock farmers and that the meat industry had to be on the front foot with climate change issues.

Eblex’s ‘Change in the Air’ roadmap was launched in December 2009 and is backed by Defra, the BMPA and both national sheep and beef associations.

He said: “The good news from a farming point of view is that all the things that might reduce the cost of production in an financial sense are also the same ones we would look at to improve CO2 emissions. So all the same sort of breeding and management traits that we have been looking at for years and years, there is an almost 100% overlap between the efficiencies you can get from an economic point of view from that of a CO2 point of view.”

Puller added to reach the 11% target, the livestock industry did not have to learn anything new and that there was enough slack in the system to make inroads into the figure set out in the roadmap.

“Just to put that in context, our calculation on what’s been the historic rate of improvement would say that beef and sheep systems get about 5% more efficient per decade through the adoption of new policies, breeding stock and cropping so Defra are asking to meet those targets to double that rate of progress. Now I think there is enough opportunity to do that but making an industry run sort of twice as fast as it has run before is no small task when you think there’s 80,000 or so producers to influence.”

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