Earth Systems and Environment

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 601–608 | Cite as

Assessment and Mitigation of Methane Emissions from Livestock Sector in Pakistan

  • Ghulam HabibEmail author
  • Aftab Ahmad Khan
Original Article


The study examined Pakistan’s livestock sector to assess the scale of GHG emissions and identified feasible technical interventions through which GHG particularly methane can potentially be reduced. Life Cycle Assessment of emissions from livestock production supply chain for the year 2014 was performed using Global Livestock Environment Assessment Model (GLEAM-i, version 2) developed by FAO. Annual emissions from the livestock sector were estimated at 404.2 million ton CO2 eq., representing carbon dioxide 6.6%, methane 70.6% and nitrous oxide 22.8%. Enteric methane averaged 63.4% of total emissions. Feed production and processing, manure management and energy use contributed 25%, 11% and 1%, respectively to the total sector emissions. Carbon footprint of milk from cows and buffalo was 184.9 against global average of 110.0 kg CO2-eq/kg milk protein and that of beef and mutton was 606.4 against the global average of 235 CO2-eq/kg meat protein. The emission intensity of chicken meat and eggs were lowest 49.6 and 20.8 kg CO2-eq/kg protein, respectively and compared to global averages. Buffaloes produced maximum GHG followed by cattle, goats, sheep and poultry. Mitigation interventions in the form of improved fodder, herd heath and genetics reduced methane intensity ranging from 14.6 to 43.2% compared to baseline. This was associated with 25–100% increase in milk yield and 10–65% in meat supply above baseline scenarios. The strong inverse correlation between methane intensity and milk yield suggested that efforts to enhance productivity reduce carbon footprint of the livestock products thus achieving the dual goals of protecting environment and food security.


GHG emissions Methane Mitigation Livestock production systems Pakistan 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AgriculturePeshawarPakistan
  2. 2.Global Change Impact Studies CenterIslamabadPakistan

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