Background: Beef production is the single biggest contributor to Brazil’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). It was directly responsible for 17 per cent of Brazilian GHG emissions in 2014 and indirectly responsible for another 24 per cent (due to its impact on deforestation). The beef industry is set to grow by 30 per cent by 2023 with commensurately greater impacts. That poses a major challenge to Brazil’s ability to fulfil its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which includes ambitious targets to reduce national emissions by 37 per cent below 2005 levels by 2025 and restore 15 million hectares of degraded pasturelands by 2030. The realisation of Brazil’s NDC therefore requires a major shift in approach by the beef industry and its supply chain.
Approach to Transformational Change: “Brazil – Low-Carbon Beef Supply Chain” aimed to catalyse that shift in approach and help realise the huge untapped potential to enhance the beef sector’s efficiency by supporting the implementation of proven best practice interventions across its supply chain. The three-year program sought to address the main technical and financial barriers that prevent the implementation of best practices at scale by offering the supply chain an integrated suite of measures. These included: (i) awareness raising of the commercial benefits of resource-efficient solutions; (ii) a full technical assistance package, including accreditation of technologies and support throughout implementation; and (iii) an attractive finance package to enable investment in best practices.
Mitigation potential: This project estimated directly avoid over 5 Mt CO2eq over the lifetime of its interventions, at an abatement cost of EUR 7.8/t CO2e, plus an additional 20 Mt CO2eq in indirect mitigation from avoided deforestation, assuming conservative parameters. Additionally, the project targeted to recover 66,000 ha of degraded pastureland.
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