Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2023

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Croft Institute for International Studies

First Advisor

Nora Sylvander

Second Advisor

Marcos Mendoza

Third Advisor

Oliver Dinius

Relational Format



The methane emissions produced by Uruguay’s 12 million cattle drive the largest share of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Livestock farming is a driver of Uruguay’s economy and an important part of their national identity and culture. Previous researchers have suggested that drastic changes to beef production and consumption habits are necessary to reduce the ecological impact of cattle ranching. This thesis investigates how Uruguay plans to deal with its reliance on beef production as it seeks to reduce its carbon emissions output. An analysis of Uruguay’s development strategy plans reveals that while the country aims to reduce the relative methane emissions per pound of beef, their strategy is significantly stunted by an effort to grow beef production and reduce emissions per unit of beef. The country has been slow to implement measures to significantly reduce emissions; furthermore, environmental progress is stunted by the prioritization of industry growth and the expectation that technological advances are soon to be implemented.

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