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Meat and Global Warming: Impact Models, Mitigation Approaches and Ethical Aspects

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  • Anders Nordgren
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    Abstract

    In this paper, I investigate the ethical problem of mitigation of climate change, to the extent this change is caused by animal production. First, I give an overview of various views of the nature and scale of the impact of animal production on climate change: the life cycle model, the complex impact model and the additional emissions model. Second, I analyse various approaches to mitigation of climate change to the extent it is caused by animal production, such as different technological solutions and more or less radical proposals for reduction of livestock numbers. Third, I carry out a preliminary investigation of ethical aspects to be taken into consideration in assessing the mitigation approaches: intergenerational justice, intragenerational justice, animal welfare, potential, and feasibility. Finally, I propose a kind of 'contraction and convergence' policy, i.e., a policy of reducing meat consumption to a certain level in developed countries while allowing people in developing countries to increase their consumption up to this level.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by White Horse Press in its journal Environmental Values.

    Volume (Year): 21 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 4 (November)
    Pages: 437-457

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    Handle: RePEc:env:journl:ev21:ev2120

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    Web page: http://www.erica.demon.co.uk

    Related research

    Keywords: Climate change; meat; mitigation; ethics; policy;

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    1. Alcott, Blake, 2008. "The sufficiency strategy: Would rich-world frugality lower environmental impact," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(4), pages 770-786, February.
    2. Casey, J.W. & Holden, N.M., 2005. "Analysis of greenhouse gas emissions from the average Irish milk production system," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 97-114, October.
    3. Fiala, Nathan, 2008. "Meeting the demand: An estimation of potential future greenhouse gas emissions from meat production," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 412-419, October.
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