Dr. Stackhouse-Lawson speaks at Reuters Webinar – “Financing NetZero: Using ESG to Generate Impact and Returns”

Written by Sydney Gradisar-Jansen, Media Intern

On February 24, 2022, Dr. Kim Stackhouse-Lawson was invited to be a guest panelist at a Webinar hosted by news agency company Reuters. This webinar, “Financing NetZero: Using ESG to Generate Impact and Returns”, featured other experts in the fields of agriculture and finance, such as representatives from JBS, CDP, and BNP. The AgNext team was grateful to be included in this important discussion which will impact the future of agricultural sustainability.

Kevin Anderson, who organized the webinar and attended on behalf of Reuters Events, took turns asking each panelist for their expert opinion about NetZero in the financial and agricultural fields. In a question directed towards Dr. Stackhouse-Lawson, Anderson inquired, “Why would sustainability be considered within the context of AgNext and what is the science saying about the emissions from agriculture as well?”

After providing a brief explanation about the mission of AgNext as a whole, Dr. Stackhouse-Lawson answered the two-part question by responding, “Colorado State University is really insightful and has put significant funds into bringing experts in to assist in figuring out, ‘What are real-world solutions and how do we scale them?’ When we think about these animal agriculture systems, they’re generational and incredibly resilient on the landscape. They manage vast landscapes that are really important, not just from a standpoint of food production, but from a standpoint of ecosystem function.”

Dr. Stackhouse-Lawson continued her statement by urging her fellow experts to ensure that they would maintain those landscapes and social networks while pursuing greenhouse gas mitigation because those systems are feeding the public.

In response to the “science” portion of Mr. Anderson’s question, Dr. Stackhouse-Lawson provided relevant statistics about greenhouse gas emissions. “In the U.S., agricultural scope 1 emissions are responsible for about 3.8% of our greenhouse budget. What we see is emissions from animal agriculture increasing, which should not be surprising because increased food production will result in increased emissions. In the last four to five years, we as scientists have the technology to measure, for example, greenhouse gas emissions from cattle in real time,” she stated. According to Dr. Stackhouse-Lawson, the equipment used today can only measure emissions from 24 head of cattle at a time, so this technology is still limited.

Dr. Stackhouse-Lawson concluded her statement optimistically by expressing CSU’s goal to not only work with private partners but also producer partners to develop mitigation strategies that are “real-world, scalable, and actually going to result in emission reduction, but also really focus on the resiliency of that supply chain because we know that that’s multi-faceted. That resilience is not just about carbon or water or economics, it’s a big system that’s critical for all of our futures.”

The team at AgNext looks forward to continuing these conversations around the future of sustainability and how it will benefit the millions of people who are fed due to animal agriculture.