Examination of Witness

Part of Agriculture Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:30 pm on 13th February 2020.

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George Monbiot:

No, that is simply not true. That claim has been made many times, and it is now basically reaching the level of climate denial—climate science denial—because it is so far removed from what the science base actually tells us.

I can pass the papers on to you if you wish. There has been a meta-study done by the Food Climate Research Network that looked at those claims. It investigated 300 sources and found that in none of the cases that it looked at was carbon sequestration in the soil under pasture compensating for carbon losses. The highest level of compensation was 20% to 60% of the overall carbon losses; there is a net loss in every case. The extensive grazing systems also have a higher net loss and a higher carbon opportunity cost than even the intensive grain-fed systems.