Fossil energy and GHG saving potentials of pig farming in the EU
In Europe, the highly developed livestock industry places a high burden on resource use and environmental quality. This paper examines pig meat production in North-West Europe as a base case and runs different scenarios to investigate how improvements in terms of energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) savings can be feasibly achieved. As shown in the results of the analysis, pig farming in the EU has a high potential to reduce fossil energy use and GHG emissions by taking improvement measures in three aspects: (i) feed use; (ii) manure management; and (iii) manure utilization. In particular, a combination of improvements in all mentioned aspects offers the highest savings potential of up to 61% fossil energy and 49% GHG emissions. In weighing these three aspects, manure utilization for energy production is found to be the most important factor in reducing fossil energy use and GHG emissions. However, when GHG implications of land use change and land opportunity cost associated with the production of feed crops (e.g. soy meal, cereals) are considered, reducing feed use becomes the main factor in improving GHG performance of EU pork.
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- Searchinger, Timothy & Heimlich, Ralph & Houghton, R. A. & Dong, Fengxia & Elobeid, Amani & Fabiosa, Jacinto F. & Tokgoz, Simla & Hayes, Dermot J. & Yu, Hun-Hsiang, 2008. "Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land-Use Change," Staff General Research Papers 12881, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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