March 1, 2024

Lukmaan IAS

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DAIRY INDUSTRY’S COMMITMENT TO CUT METHANE EMISSIONS

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TAG: GS 3: ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT

THE CONTEXT: Six of the world’s largest dairy companies will soon begin disclosing their methane emissions as part of a new global alliance launched at the United Nations climate summit.

EXPLANATION:

  • This alliance aims to disclose and mitigate methane emissions in the dairy sector, recognizing the urgency of tackling this issue for environmental sustainability.

The Significance of Methane Emissions in Dairy Industry

  • The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization highlights that approximately 30% of global anthropogenic methane emissions stem from livestock, primarily through sources like cow burps and manure.
  • This underscores the pressing need to address methane emissions from the dairy industry as a crucial aspect of combating climate change.
  • Six prominent dairy companies – Danone, Bel Group, General Mills, Lactalis USA, Kraft Heinz, and Nestle – have joined forces to form the Dairy Methane Action Alliance.
  • This coalition’s primary objectives include disclosing methane emissions by mid-2024 and drafting actionable plans to mitigate these emissions by the end of the same year.

Focus on Reducing Methane: Importance and Challenges

  • Methane, known for being nearly 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide, is a focal point in global efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The alliance acknowledges the complexity of reducing dairy methane emissions, emphasizing the necessity of providing comprehensive support to farmers worldwide.
  • Strategies such as experimenting with feed additives are being considered to combat methane production from livestock.
  • While the alliance members are not mandated to commit to specific emission reduction targets, enhanced measurement and reporting of methane emissions serve as crucial steps towards eventual mitigation.
  • Companies like Danone have independently pledged significant reductions, aiming to cut methane emissions from their fresh milk supply chain by 30% by 2030.

Impact of Methane Reduction Goals on Global Warming

Environmental Defense Fund’s Role and Accountability

  • The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), convening this alliance, stresses the importance of increased accountability through improved measurement and reporting.
  • EDF considers these measures instrumental in compelling companies to eventually reduce their methane emissions.

COP28’s Focus on Food Sector Emissions

  • Acknowledging that food production accounts for approximately a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, leaders at COP28 have pledged to prioritize actions addressing emissions from the food sector.
  • The initiative by the Dairy Methane Action Alliance aligns with this overarching commitment to tackle emissions across industries.

Conclusion

  • The formation of the Dairy Methane Action Alliance marks a significant step in addressing methane emissions in the dairy industry.
  • The coalition’s commitment to disclosure, planning, and eventual mitigation of methane emissions signifies a collective effort by major players in the sector to contribute meaningfully to climate change mitigation efforts outlined at COP28.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE REFER TO 5TH DECEMBER 2023 DNA

SOURCE: https://www.reuters.com/sustainability/climate-energy/global-dairy-companies-announce-alliance-cut-methane-cop28-2023-12-05/

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