Substantial reductions in beef production are required to meet any Net Zero or 2°C targets by 2050.

Given the cultural significance of beef consumption and cattle production, it is unlikely global consumption will decline sufficiently in the next 30 years through demand side reductions. While modest diet changes and reductions in beef demand have recently been seen in OECD countries, these are outweighed by increasing demand from population growth and as the world’s emerging economies become wealthier. If we recognize that beef consumption will not decrease sufficiently rapidly in this next critical decade, we must reduce emissions from the sector as far and as fast as possible, while demand side reduction takes hold.



Beef production is mostly associated with methane emissions from enteric fermentation. What is less well known is that, globally, cattle-driven deforestation results in approximately three times (3x) the emissions that arise from enteric fermentation.


Beef production is the primary driver of deforestation in many countries, particularly in South America; in the Brazilian Amazon biome, pastures make up nearly 80% of the land that was deforested between 1996 and 2006, and that has continued - if not accelerated - since then.


Further, cattle raising is often inefficient/low productivity and extensive land use and deforesting new land enable this business model.


&Green generates impact by looking for landscapes where valuable ecosystems require active protection and/or restoration, but where competing forces, specifically from agricultural production, frustrate the required action. Working with the beef sector is critical if &Green aims to contribute meaningfully to the reduction of deforestation: investing in intensification and higher productivity in the beef sector can drive the transformational change necessary to meet the short- and medium-term growing beef demand from the same amount of land.

By stopping cattle-driven deforestation and improving efficiency in production, we can achieve up to 80% reduction in tCO2e per kg of beef consumption, while also having benefits of forest protection (biodiversity, water etc), employment and professionalization of the sector.

To top