Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Next time a Vegan gives you a hard time about eating meat, you might want to show them this article.
China and EU appetite for soy drives Brazilian deforestation, climate change: Study
by Chris Arsenault on 23 June 2020
- A recent study highlights how demand for Brazilian soy by Europe and China is stoking deforestation, thereby increasing carbon emissions, especially in Brazil’s Cerrado savanna biome, followed by the Amazon rainforest.
- The extent to which Brazilian soy production and trade contribute to climate change depends largely on the location where soybeans are grown. Soy exported from some municipalities in Brazil’s Cerrado, for example, contributes 200 times more total greenhouse gas emissions than soy coming from other parts of the country.
- China was the world’s largest importer of Brazilian soy from 2010 to 2015 and responsible for 51% of associated carbon dioxide emissions, with the European Union responsible for about 30%. However, EU soy imports (sourced from the northern Cerrado) were linked to more recent deforestation than China’s imports.
- The study is the first to offer an estimate of carbon emissions across Brazil’s entire soy sector. The data obtained by analyzing 90,000 supply chain streams could help policymakers curb emissions by designing low-carbon supply chains, with more effective forest conservation, and making improvements in transport infrastructure.
A first ever study has provided detailed estimates of greenhouse gas emissions across the entire soy producing agribusiness sector in Brazil. The study, published in the journal Global Environmental Change, found that countries and companies in the European Union and China importing soy from Brazil have driven deforestation there, causing a marked increase in greenhouse gas emissions, particularly when the soy came from certain regions.
While deforestation in the Amazon rainforest has garnered global attention, a new wave of precipitous native vegetation loss is being seen in the Cerrado, Brazil’s savanna biome, and is a major cause of concern to climate change researchers. Brazil’s Cerrado grasslands are being cleared of forest at an alarming rate to expand soy plantations — along with ranches — to meet global demand.
In fact, soy exported from newly cleared lands in some savanna municipalities caused the release of as much as 200 times more greenhouse gas emissions than soy coming from other parts of Brazil, according to the new study, which was conducted by researchers from Germany, together with partners from Spain, Belgium and Sweden.
“This gives crucial information to stakeholders to improve environmental performance,” Escobar added in an interview with Mongabay. Companies importing Cerrado soy now have been alerted that deforestation there is producing high greenhouse gas emissions, so they can work actively with soy producers to avoid clearing new land for Cerrado plantations, she said.
The abstract of the study;
Spatially-explicit footprints of agricultural commodities: Mapping carbon emissions embodied in Brazil’s soy exports
Author links open overlay panelNeusEscobarabE. JorgeTizadocErasmus K.H.J.zu ErmgassendePernillaLöfgrenfJanBörnerabJavierGodarf
Reliable estimates of carbon and other environmental footprints of agricultural commodities require capturing a large diversity of conditions along global supply chains. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) faces limitations when it comes to addressing spatial and temporal variability in production, transportation and manufacturing systems. We present a bottom-up approach for quantifying the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions embedded in the production and trade of agricultural products with a high spatial resolution, by means of the integration of LCA principles with enhanced physical trade flow analysis. Our approach estimates the carbon footprint (as tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents per tonne of product) of Brazilian soy exports over the period 2010–2015 based on ~90,000 individual traded flows of beans, oil and protein cake identified from the municipality of origin through international markets. Soy is the most traded agricultural commodity in the world and the main agricultural export crop in Brazil, where it is associated with significant environmental impacts. We detect an extremely large spatial variability in carbon emissions across sourcing areas, countries of import, and sub-stages throughout the supply chain. The largest carbon footprints are associated with municipalities across the MATOPIBA states and Pará, where soy is directly linked to natural vegetation loss. Importing soy from the aforementioned states entailed up to six times greater emissions per unit of product than the Brazilian average (0.69 t t−1). The European Union (EU) had the largest carbon footprint (0.77 t t−1) due to a larger share of emissions from embodied deforestation than for instance in China (0.67 t t−1), the largest soy importer. Total GHG emissions from Brazilian soy exports in 2010–2015 are estimated at 223.46 Mt, of which more than half were imported by China although the EU imported greater emissions from deforestation in absolute terms. Our approach contributes data for enhanced environmental stewardship across supply chains at the local, regional, national and international scales, while informing the debate on global responsibility for the impacts of agricultural production and trade.
Trendy vegan high tech latte sipping eco-warriors are running up quite a rap sheet of climate crimes.
Their bitcoin exchanges gratuitously burn enough electricity to power a small country. Their demand for electric cars is driving child slavery in central Africa. Demand for chocolate is driving deforestation, civilian atrocities and war crimes in West Africa. Demand for palm oil biofuel is driving deforestation and habitat destruction in Asia, not to mention that time green policies triggered widespread famine in poor countries.
Now we learn that demand for Vegan soy products is driving deforestation and habitat destruction in South America.
Yet they have the effrontery to call us climate criminals.