Reducing Animal Agriculture Emissions: The Viability of a Farm Transition Carbon Offset Protocol

15 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2021 Last revised: 10 Nov 2022

Date Written: April 22, 2021

Abstract

Animal agriculture is one of the leading sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon offset markets allow entities to reduce their overall climate impact by financing projects that decrease emissions elsewhere. This Article analyzes the viability of an offset protocol that credits farms for transitioning from raising livestock to growing crops, based on the difference in emissions between these operations. It finds that a livestock-to-plants farm transition project can satisfy all of the criteria for offset protocols, and provides a preliminary methodology to calculate the emission reductions associated with a farm transition. Carbon offset registries, legislative bodies, and administrative agencies may implement these findings to help address the environmental and social harms associated with our current food system.

Keywords: carbon market, offset credit, animal agriculture, farm transition, plant-based, climate change, livestock, carbon credit, offset protocol, emissions trading

JEL Classification: Q14, Q51, Q54, Q56, Q58

Suggested Citation

Rutinel, Manny and Quaade, Sebastian, Reducing Animal Agriculture Emissions: The Viability of a Farm Transition Carbon Offset Protocol (April 22, 2021). Environmental Law Reporter, Vol. 52, No. 11, 2022, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3832304 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3832304

Manny Rutinel (Contact Author)

Yale Law School ( email )

127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06510
United States

Sebastian Quaade

Yale University ( email )

28 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06520-8268
United States

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