The dairy industry is being encouraged to get behind a drive to spread accurate facts about the sector’s greenhouse gas emissions ahead of this month’s COP26 in Glasgow.
The Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) has pulled together some key facts to highlight how little the sector contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.
Farmers, key industry stakeholders and organisations have been asked to push the messages to the wider public in the lead up to the climate summit, on 31 October.
The dairy group says the aim is to help inform the public of the actual levels of the sector’s greenhouse gas contributions and dispel current myths popular on social media.
RABDF explained that less than 3% of total UK emissions come from the dairy sector, and almost half of the emissions from the dairy cow is from their digestion – “a perfectly natural process of ruminants”.
The organization says that it takes just 8 litres of tap water to produce 1 litre of milk, compared to 158 litres of tap water to produce 1 litre of almond drink.
And UK milk emissions are also lower than global average – the carbon footprint of a litre of British milk is around 1.25kg CO2e compared to a global average of 2.9kg CO2e per litre.
Matt Knight, RABDF managing director, has encouraged farmers to highlight the UK dairy industry’s real contribution is to greenhouse gas emissions.
“As an industry, we are working so hard to reduce the levels, but often this is pushed back in our face when inaccurate facts are published,” he said.
“The dairy sector, along with other areas of agriculture, is often used as a scapegoat when it comes to emissions, with ‘belching’ cows regularly hitting the headlines in the national press.
“We anticipate UK agriculture will come under the spotlight at COP26, so we must be ready to make our story known and shout about the good work we are doing to reduce emissions from what is already quite a low level.”
The RABDF has produced some draft social media posts, newsletter snippets, visuals and posters that are free to copy and paste from their website.