NCBA calls for dialogue on US-EU methane pledge
After the United States and European Union on Saturday announced the Global Methane Pledge, an initiative to reduce global methane emissions to be launched at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in November in Glasgow, the National Cattlemen‘s Beef Association noted that the cattle industry has promised to work toward climate neutrality by 2040 and called for continued dialogue on the issue.
“President Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen urged countries at the U.S.-led Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate to join the pledge and welcomed those that have already signaled their support,” according to a joint US-EU release sent out by the White House.
“The European Commission is also working to accelerate the uptake of mitigation technologies through the wider deployment of ‘carbon farming’ in European Union Member States and through their Common Agricultural Policy Strategic Plans, and to promote biomethane production from agricultural waste and residues,” according to the release.
“At the president’s urging and in partnership with U.S. farmers and ranchers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is working to significantly expand the voluntary adoption of climate-smart agriculture practices that will reduce methane emissions from key agriculture sources by incentivizing the deployment of improved manure management systems, anaerobic digesters, new livestock feeds, composting, and other practices,” the White House said.
In a news release, NCBA urged the Biden administration to maintain an open dialogue with experts in agriculture and said to achieve the goal of curbing global methane emissions by 2030 “the administration will need the voluntary participation, scientific research and practical knowledge of U.S. cattle producers.”
NCBA noted that last month the U.S. cattle industry will be working to demonstrate climate neutrality by 2040.
NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane said, “We’ve engaged with the Biden administration since Day One to ensure the U.S. cattle industry is recognized for our strong record of environmental stewardship and that our voice, and our priorities, are heard loud and clear. The administration cannot accomplish lasting conservation without the buy-in of cattle producers.”
In the release, NCBA explained, “Cattle emit methane when they digest their food. This happens due to the cow’s specialized ruminant digestive system, which allows cattle to consume grasses which grow on marginal land that would be otherwise unusable for growing food. The gas breaks down in the atmosphere in 9-12 years, is sequestered in soil and grasses, and then consumed by ruminant animals as part of a natural grazing cycle.”
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