Stakeholders on Meat Production, Meat Consumption and Mitigation of Climate Change: Sweden as a Case

  • Henrik Lerner
  • Bo Algers
  • Stefan Gunnarsson
  • Anders Nordgren


In this paper we analyse and discuss the views of Swedish stakeholders on how to mitigate climate change to the extent it is caused by meat production. The stakeholders include meat producer organisations, governmental agencies with direct influence on meat production, political parties as well as non-governmental organisations. Representatives of twelve organisations were interviewed. Several organisations argued against the mitigation option of reducing beef production despite the higher greenhouse gas intensity of beef compared to pork and chicken meat (according to life cycle analysis). Regarding feed production some organisations proposed use of the best available industrial fertilizers, others were against all use of such fertilizers. Several organizations suggested domestic production of more protein-rich fodder and use of manure for biogas production. Regarding meat consumption the focus was on throwing away less food as waste and on eating less meat but the best (most climate friendly) meat, which was considered to be Swedish meat in contrast to imported meat. There was agreement on many issues. Most disagreement was found regarding political steering. We find many of the stakeholders’ mitigation proposals regarding meat production and consumption acceptable. However, we are to some extent critical to their defence of Swedish beef production. We also point out certain problems with the suggestion to reduce consumption of imported meat but not of domestically produced meat.


Climate change Mitigation Meat production Meat consumption Stakeholders Sweden 



The research for this paper was funded by The Swedish Research Council (contract no. 2008–1926). We are grateful to all organizations and informants participating in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henrik Lerner
    • 1
  • Bo Algers
    • 1
  • Stefan Gunnarsson
    • 1
  • Anders Nordgren
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Animal Environment and HealthSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesSkaraSweden
  2. 2.Centre for Applied EthicsLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden

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