Ottawa to offer 'carbon credits' to farmers in bid to reduce cattle farts, burps

To earn credits, the feds recommend that farmers adjust their livestock's diets. Adding ionophores, yeasts, essential oils, or other digestion enhancers to their food will reduce their methane output, claims Environment and Climate Change Canada. 

Ottawa to offer 'carbon credits' to farmers in bid to reduce cattle farts, burps
Facebook/ Joyce Murray
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Ottawa wants to reduce Canada’s methane emissions by regulating cow farts and burps, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC).

Announced December 10 at the Dubai climate summit, Canada tabled the Reducing Enteric Methane Emissions from Beef Cattle (REME) protocol, where farmers can earn credits by altering the natural digestive process of their cattle.

To earn credits, the feds recommend that farmers adjust their livestock's diets, such as adding ionophores, yeasts, essential oils, or other digestion enhancers to their food. Also, by replacing hay with corn silage, or using certain varieties of seaweed and chemical additives, the methane output of cattle declines. 

Several methods exist to reduce methane emissions through dietary changes in cattle, yet each comes with an added cost, reported True North

The REME program builds on current environmental protocols published under Canada’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Offset Credit System that aims to reduce Canadian emissions by 40% to 45% below 2005 levels by 2030.

According to the ECCC, agriculture comprised 31% of Canada’s methane emissions in 2021 — most of which came from the natural digestive process of beef and dairy cattle.

For every tonne of emission reductions, farmers earn one credit that can be sold to "facilities that […] meet emissions reduction obligations," said the ECCC in its draft protocol. As reported by the Epoch Times, the feds intend to publish the final protocol next summer, when farmers can "begin registering their projects."

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith called the initiative "completely ridiculous."

"How is going after ranchers and dairy farmers a priority of this federal government?" she asked in a post to her X feed.

However, Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault lauded REME on Sunday as the way forward for "sustainable agriculture" that will "harvest a greener future for all."

"The newest draft protocol under Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Offset Credit System not only addresses agricultural greenhouse gasses, but will provide a financial benefit for Canadian farmers," he said in a statement to the media.

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