CIEL |Net Zero Carbon & UK Livestock 

Meeting the net zero challenge

Climate change is impacting every aspect of UK farming and the livestock food production supply chain. In order to address and move to more sustainable methods of farming and delivery, we are faced with a huge challenge over the coming decades to reduce emissions.


To achieve the UK Government’s net zero carbon emission target for 2050, the agriculture and land sectors will need to reduce their current emissions by 64%.
That’s a decrease of 0.58Mt of carbon dioxide per year between 2018 and 2050.*

This means that advances in technology, greater investment, innovation, improved carbon accounting, collaboration and widespread on-farm adoption will all form part of our approach. Carbon reduction, however, is not our only challenge and needs to be addressed alongside animal welfare, biodiversity and supporting our rural communities.

We first commissioned a report by independent scientists from eight leading UK universities and institutions and endorsed by a further six.

Read our first ground-breaking report, *Net Zero Carbon & UK Livestock October 2020 and our subsequent updates below.

Our most recent report ‘Net Zero & Livestock: How farmers can reduce emissions’ has been commissioned by CIEL is now available to read, published April 2022.

You can also keep up to date with innovation via our CIEL latest news articles, our impact through our projects and case studies, plus, meet the research scientists who, together with our producers, innovators and retailers are taking on the net zero challenge for the UK’s livestock sector.

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    Read and Download the CIEL Reports

    This series of fact sheets highlight the practical steps that can be taken to help reduce emissions on-farm. Each is informed by the key findings within the complete report ‘Net Zero & Livestock: How farmers can reduce emissions’.

    The 4-page fact sheets include real-farm scenarios and recommended mitigation options, clearly indicating the impact each can have to support decision-making. Please download and share with your relevant farm networks. If you would be interested in receiving printed copies, please contact us through the web enquiry form.

    Download the relevant fact sheet below:

    Dairy

    Sheep

    Equivalent fact sheets for the beef, pig and poultry sectors are coming soon.

    This latest report follows on from highly-regarded Net Zero Carbon & UK Livestock report commissioned by CIEL in 2020. It provides a high-level guide of the key mitigations that can be adopted now, or in the near future, to reduce emissions from livestock and comments on how effective and how easy, or otherwise, these mitigations would be to implement, in general, on farms.

    The report models the impact of some of these key mitigations when modelled through a life cycle analysis calculator as well as through inventory accounting methods. It is the latter that makes this report unique in that it draws out the importance of reducing gross emissions through the application of mitigations and, as such, improves both the carbon footprint of the farm as well as reducing the national level of emissions.

    The report provides some indication of the impact of carbon sequestration and, overall, provides an indication for the scale of GHG and ammonia reductions possible across livestock in the UK based on a number of assumptions.

    Read and download the latest report Net Zero & Livestock: How farmers can reduce emissions Published April 2022

    This independent report assessing the carbon intensity of all UK livestock production systems has identified that currently available technologies cannot deliver even half the industry’s 2050 carbon emissions reduction goal.

    Commissioned by CIEL, written by environmental, climate and livestock scientists from eight renowned UK research institutions and endorsed by a further six, the Report will be used to inform the debate about climate change and the role livestock can play to reduce emissions that contribute to global warming.

    Read and download the Net Zero Carbon & UK Livestock Report Published October 2020