Experts share data tools that can help unlock climate finance in livestock development

Countries and projects need good data to apply for climate finance for reducing emissions from livestock development. A recent LD4D webinar highlighted a range of data tools that can help countries build the a case for financing.


by Ana Miranda

There are dozens of tools that can be used to undertake environmental assessments for food and farming, but finding the right tool can be a challenge, particularly for livestock projects in low-and middle-income countries. In a webinar held on March 21st, we explored the potential of data tools that can help countries build the case for reducing methane emissions from livestock and enable them to tap into climate finance. This collaboration between LD4D, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), and the World Bank drew over 100 attendees including representatives from governments, multilaterals, civil society, and private sector.  

Dr Gregory Kohler, Agriculture Expert at CCAC, set the stage with an overview of the CCAC’s mission to mitigate short-lived climate pollutants, including methane. His introduction highlighted the CCAC’s global efforts and emphasized the importance of collaborative initiatives like the Global Methane Pledge in combating climate change. 

Watch full webinar recording

Highlights from our speakers

Innovative solutions for environmental assessments 

Dr. Frances Ryan, Researcher (Livestock and Environment), SEBI-Livestock, introduced the LD4D/CCAC Environmental Assessment Tool Navigator. This innovative dashboard offers a comprehensive compilation of tools designed to assess the environmental impact of livestock and agriculture. Her presentation highlighted the dashboard's utility in guiding users to the best tool for their specific contexts and needs. 

Using data tools in World Bank’s project cycle 

Leah Arabella Germer, Agriculture Specialist (Agriculture and Food Global Practice), World Bank Group, shared the institution's revised mission focusing on planetary sustainability. Through the lens of the World Bank project cycle, Leah demonstrated how data tools like FAO EX-ACT, GLEAM, and GLEAM-i are pivotal in supporting governments to monitor and assess emissions effectively throughout the lifetime of the project. She also shared a new World Bank publication which provides practical guidelines to carry out these assessments.

Cost-benefit analyses of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs)

Irene Wasilevsky, Senior Agriculture Economist (Latin America and Caribbean), World Bank Group, presented a case study from Paraguay, focusing on the cost benefit analysis of the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA) for the livestock sector. The findings from this study show that not every sustainable practice is feasible across all operational scales, and schemes that do yield profits often necessitate a more extended period for investment return. Irene also outlined recommendations to address challenges. Firstly, financing schemes must be tailored to different project scales. Secondly, the establishment of comprehensive monitoring systems by countries is essential. Such systems ensure the effective and sound implementation of these practices, safeguarding against inefficiencies and maximizing impact. Lastly, a broadened approach to financing is crucial, one that encompasses a variety of institutions and investors. 

International Finance Corporation’s livestock Investments 

The closing presentation, delivered by Dieter Fischer, Lead for Agribusiness Advisory Services in Latin America and the Caribbean at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank Group, offered an overview of the IFC's investment strategy. In 2023 the IFC committed $31.7 billion to initiatives aiming to bolster agribusiness sectors, including livestock, through collaborative efforts with other financial institutions. Central to Dieter's presentation were the guiding principles behind these investments, with a particular focus on two pivotal areas: the promotion of decarbonization pathways to bolster climate resilience and the critical mission to avert biodiversity loss.  

IFC uses data tools to establish baselines and track progress toward decarbonization goals, as well as in the traceability of animals and feed to mitigate deforestation risks. Tools such as FLAG, GLEAM-I, Cool Farm, and DSM Sustell are the most frequently used. However, these tools have their challenges, including the variability of results due to data discrepancies and algorithm differences. Other limitations are demonstrating greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions in low-input, pasture-fed systems, as well as the scarcity of tools capable of accurately estimating emissions from fisheries. 

Key insights and next steps  

Dr. Kohler’s closing remarks encapsulated the key points that emerged from the discussion. 

  • Promoting Dialogue and Exchange: The webinar highlighted the need for continued conversation and knowledge exchange to foster innovative solutions in climate finance for livestock.

  • Increasing Access to Climate Finance: With only 4% of climate finance currently directed towards agri-food systems, enhancing data tools and their application stands as a key strategy for unlocking much-needed funding.

  • Adapting to Diverse Contexts: Recognizing the variability across production systems, there’s a consensus on the importance of tailoring solutions to meet the unique environmental, social and economic factors of each country.

  • Long-term Investment in Climate Finance: The discussions highlighted the need for financing mechanisms that accommodate longer returns on investment, making climate finance more accessible to farmers worldwide.

  • Overcoming Data Challenges: A collective call to action was made to invest in research and data collection at local and national levels, aiming to bridge data gaps and build a strong evidence base for sustainable interventions. 

We are in the process of compiling follow-up actions from the event. We aim to keep the momentum going and ensure that this productive dialogue continues. 

Join the Conversation

We invite you to explore the webinar's insights further by watching the recording and share your thoughts with us via our social media channels. What are your experiences or ideas in this domain? You can also join our mailing list to receive regular updates on LD4D activities related to livestock and climate finance.  

Discover more

For those interested in a deeper dive, we encourage you to explore our collection of LD4D resources

Ana Miranda is the LD4D Development Manager, based with SEBI-Livestock, University of Edinburgh.