DOI: 10.3390/environments10080144 ISSN:

Retrospective Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the Beef Sector in Greece and Potential Mitigation Scenarios

Stephanos Azoukis, Konstantina Akamati, Iosif Bizelis, George P. Laliotis
  • General Environmental Science
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Although beef production is one of the most valuable drivers of the global livestock economy, it is considered the main contributor to GHG emissions derived from livestock. This study’s objectives were to estimate the GHG emissions (expressed in carbon dioxide equivalents; CO2-eq) from the beef sector in Greece at the national and prefecture levels during the period 2011–2021 and to explore potential mitigation scenarios. The Tier 1 and 2 methodologies were implemented to estimate the GHG emissions. The total estimated emissions increased over the study period. Although both methodologies captured similar trends in the changes in GHG emissions, the Tier 2 estimations revealed lower emissions and fluctuations due to the different and more precise computational approaches. At the prefecture level, fluctuations in emissions were also noted. However, specific regions showed higher increases in emissions. The observed increase in emissions, in terms of either absolute values (Gg CO2-eq) or intensities (Kg CO2-eq/Kg produced beef carcass), is of utmost importance, and further mitigation strategies should be considered. The regression analysis showed a good predictive ability for emissions, using the number of livestock animals as the input. The equations derived from this analysis could be further used as first-approach tools for capturing future emissions at the national level before proceeding with more elaborate approaches. The different scenarios examined in response to the sector’s challenges showed moderate changes in GHG emissions. Depending on national priorities, such scenarios could serve as pilot case studies, which may assist stakeholders in improving the sustainability of the sector in the future.

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