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FAIL SAFE: New report says EU will not meet ‘methane pledge’ without downsizing animal agriculture

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The report states that the simplest way to guarantee the EU’s meeting of the Global Methane Pledge commitment would be to reduce meat and dairy consumption on a per-capita basis.

SARAH GEORGE: The EU will not be able to deliver on its COP26 commitment to slash methane emissions by 30% this decade unless efforts are made to scale back livestock numbers, a new report is warning… A new report, published on 14 June by the Changing Markets Foundation and environmental consultancy CE Delft, warns that the EU itself is not implementing policy changes to deliver its own Global Methane Pledge ambitions. The bloc’s main sources of methane are fossil fuels and animal agriculture, and the report focuses on the latter, which accounts for 53% of the EU’s annual methane footprint.

According to the report, methane emissions from the EU’s livestock sector will decrease by just 3.7% by 2030, against a 2020 baseline, in a ‘business-as-usual’ scenario. “Technical measures” to reduce on-farm emissions could accelerate progress, the report notes – but they are unlikely to bring emissions down by 30% this decade. The documents forecast a 12% reduction in methane emissions from the use of feed additives for beef and dairy animals, in a best-case scenario. The worst case would be a reduction of just 1%. Additionally, a 4-7% decrease is predicted from better manure management.

The report states that while action in these areas is welcome, the simplest way to guarantee the EU’s meeting of the Global Methane Pledge commitment would be to reduce meat and dairy consumption on a per-capita basis. It forecasts that dietary changes alone – at the pace and scale needed to ultimately reduce the bloc’s livestock numbers – could bring about a 30-38% reduction in EU methane emissions by 2030…

The EU bloc co-launched the ‘Global Methane Pledge’ with the US federal government at COP26 in Glasgow last year, receiving support from more than 100 other nations at the time, including half of the world’s biggest methane emitters. Signatories have been steadily increasing since then.

This groundswell of support for concerted efforts to cut methane emissions was broadly welcomed. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and scientists have repeatedly outlined how reductions would make a significant contribution to efforts to ‘keep 1.5C alive’ and avert the worst physical impacts of the climate crisis. SOURCE…

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