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PhD: Locating livestock in Net Zero agriculture, University of Edinburgh, UK

The University of Edinburgh

The Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh is advertising a PhD position on "Locating livestock in Net Zero agriculture". It will be supervised by TABLE member Professor Dominic Moran as well as Dr Rafael Silva.

The world needs to get on a 1.5 ºC  pathway and all sectors of the economy need to play a role. Net zero is the current rhetorical goal for reducing (or mitigating) GHG emissions. Livestock mitigation measures are mostly known and their technical potential has been suggested in analysis for the UK Committee on Climate change (2020). But there is a difference between the (theoretical) technical potential  - i.e. what could be possible and a feasible potential. The latter will be determined by economic, behavioural and political barriers that need to be examined and overcome. This project will examine pathways to net zero and how these barriers are impeding the adoption of innovative mitigation measures on the livestock sector.

The research will critically engage with existing net zero plans recently developed by key stakeholders (e.g. NFU, AHDB), and narratives around a just transition towards an “optimal” livestock future. The analysis will include the environmental and social costs and benefits of livestock production and consumption with a view to conceptualising alternative definitions of optimality. It will finally consider the likely governance architectures necessary to regulate the transition nationally and globally. 

Key research objectives

  1. Defining net zero livestock
  2. Stakeholder workshops to examine what is actually happening with the current CCC budget? Are we making progress, who has a strategy for net zero and do they all add up consistently? 
  3. Sector stakeholder Delphi workshops to refocus on priority MACC production and consumption measures  - what progress are we making including under  GWP versus GWP* scenarios?
  4. Focused work on gaps in evidence on above and e.g.  general equilibrium modelling and co-effects (biodiversity and health)
  5. Innovative policy versus mark-based approaches to finance sector pathways
  6. Defining a just approach to sector mitigation burden sharing. 

This opportunity is open to UK and international students and provides funding to cover stipend, tuition fees and consumable/travel costs. 

Read more here. The closing date is 5 January 2022.