The recent Worldwatch Institute report caused an interesting discussion about the different calculations of the extent of the emissions of greenhouse gases by the livestock farming industry. Henk Westhoek of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) says the WWI wrongfully includes the CO2 emissions through exhalation. Moreover, the effects of methane are spread out over a period of 20 years, whereas many other scientists use a period of 100 years.
We cannot and wish not to take a position in this debate at this moment, as yet we are holding on to the 18% the FAO calculated. We are however pleased that this report boosts the discussion. Whether one would use the 18% of the FAO or the 51% of the Worldwatch Institute, in both cases the livestock farming industry is the largest contributor to climate change caused by the emission of greenhouse gases.