Aliens helping out with the EU methane pledge. Image: © ledokolua /

EU must cut livestock numbers to deliver on methane

The European Union is unlikely to deliver on its pledge to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030 without cutting livestock numbers, reveals a report released in June. The Global Methane Pledge was launched by the EU and US at the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, where countries committed to a collective goal of reducing global methane emissions by at least 30 per cent from 2020 levels by 2030. The analysis, conducted by CE Delft for the Changing Markets Foundation, shows that the EU’s policies at the beginning of the decade put it on track to cut methane emissions by 13.4% by 2030.

Recent developments, particularly in the energy sector, could deliver further reductions of at least 3.4% by 2030 but will still leave the EU well off target. According to their calculations, the EU can cut emissions by up to 34% by persuading just 10% of EU consumers to switch to diets with less meat and dairy and accelerating existing plans for tackling emissions from animal manure, food waste and energy.

Furthermore, it is stated that a 45% cut, which scientists say is needed to stop global temperatures from rising above 1.5°C, cannot be achieved without cutting livestock numbers. Reductions of 38–47% can be achieved if half of Europeans reduce their meat and dairy consumption, and additional measures – including action to tackle food loss and waste – are introduced alongside existing plans.

Source: Changing Markets Foundation Press release, 14 June 2022 The report, Methane Reduction Potential in the EU:


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