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WIREs Clim Change
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Re‐framing the climate change debate in the livestock sector: mitigation and adaptation options

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Livestock play a key role in the climate change debate. As with crop‐based agriculture, the sector is both a net greenhouse gas emitter and vulnerable to climate change. At the same time, it is an essential food source for millions of people worldwide, with other functions apart from food security such as savings and insurance. By comparison with crop‐based agriculture, the interactions of livestock and climate change have been much less studied. The debate around livestock is confusing due to the coexistence of multiple livestock farming systems with differing functions for humans, greenhouse gas (GHG) emission profiles and different characteristics and boundary issues in their measurement, which are often pooled together. Consequently, the diversity of livestock farming systems and their functions to human systems are poorly represented and the role of the livestock sector in the climate change debate has not been adequately addressed. In this article, building upon the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report (IPCC 5AR) findings, we review recent literature on livestock and climate change so as better to include this diversity in the adaptation and mitigation debate around livestock systems. For comparative purposes we use the same categories of managerial, technical, behavioral and policy‐related action to organize both mitigation and adaptation options. We conclude that different livestock systems provide different functions to different human systems and require different strategies, so they cannot readily be pooled together. We also observe that, for the different livestock systems, several win‐win strategies exist that effectively tackle both mitigation and adaptation options as well as food security. WIREs Clim Change 2016, 7:869–892. doi: 10.1002/wcc.421 This article is categorized under: The Carbon Economy and Climate Mitigation > Benefits of Mitigation Climate and Development > Knowledge and Action in Development
Frequency of appearance of the word and phrases relating to livestock versus cropping systems and their outputs in (a) the Summary for Policymakers, (b) the Food Security chapter and (c) the regional chapters of the IPPC Fifth Assessment Report.
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Effectiveness of different adaptation and mitigation options. The intensity of the color implies the difficulty in implementation or cost or trade‐off involved. Valorization is qualitative: clear gray, easy implementation, low trade‐offs; hard gray, difficult implementation, high trade‐offs.
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The Carbon Economy and Climate Mitigation > Benefits of Mitigation
Climate and Development > Knowledge and Action in Development

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