The European Dairy Association (EDA) has highlighted the industry's commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The EDA commissioned CE Delft, an independent Dutch research firm, to review the "facts and figures" relating to the contribution of the dairy lifecycle to climate change.

CE Delft concluded that, although global livestock emissions increased "significantly" in the 20th century, since 1990, the indications are that dairy emissions have decreased.

At current emissions levels, dairy cattle contribute 1.2% to global greenhouse emissions. Post-farm activity adds 10-20% to the dairy lifecycle.

Total emissions effectively range from 0.9-1.8 kg CO2 eq. per kg milk, the report stated.

"The decrease in emissions over the past decade demonstrates the commitment that dairy farmers and processors have made to reduce their impact on the environment," a spokesperson for the EDA told just-food.

The report concluded that it remains difficult to determine the factors contributing to the overall climate effect of dairy production. It recommended the establishment of general standards for lifecycle assessments in order to compile diverse data more effectively and ultimately lead to a better view on the ways to reduce dairy's impact on climate change.