Climate ChangeEnvironment

Methane emissions, identikit of the steak polluting like Germany

Methane emissions have a climate-altering power 82.5 times greater than CO2 in the first 20 years

(sustainabilityenvironment.com) – The 15 largest meat and dairy companies in the world together pollute more than fossil companies like Shell or BP. If they were a state, they would rank 10th in the ranking of the world’s largest greenhouse gas producers. Why? Cow Methane emissions from farms under their control. Emissions which, so far, have completely escaped any attempt at a reduction at the international level.

Since last year, climate diplomacy has begun to focus efforts against greenhouse gases not only on CO2 but also on methane emissions. Its climaltering power is 82.5 times greater than that of carbon dioxide in the first 20 years it remains in the atmosphere. Therefore, cutting the CH4 will limit global warming by a few tenths of a degree in the short term. A solution now considered essential for the 2030 climate goals.

Read also COP27, US and EU want global standards on methane emissions

Unfortunately, of the three main sources of methane emissions – livestock, waste and oil & gas – international initiatives focus only on fossil companies. “Policymakers have identified solutions that revolve around this extraction system” of farms, accuse the authors of the report “Emissions impossible”, published today by the Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy. “Governments are limited to technological solutions without seriously considering the systemic transformations needed in the production, trade and consumption of animal products”, they continue.

A systemic transformation that resonates perfectly with the positions expressed in the latest IPCC report. Moreover, the 15 companies considered in the report are the backbone of a model of nutrition and exploitation of natural resources, which, in size, is considered totally unsustainable.
The only methane emissions of the 15 companies reach 12.8 Mt (million tons) in total, in practice 80% of the methane footprint of Europe and 3.4% of global CH4 emissions. If you consider the total emissions of these companies, you get to 734 Mt CO2e, more than Germany. Their methane emissions are 52% higher than those related to livestock in the EU and 47% higher than those in the US.

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