India: Agricultural Methane Largely Seen as a Fact of Life; Efforts to Curb Emissions Limited

Posted on April 15, 2024

Home to 80 million dairy farmers whose 303 million cows made 231 million tons of milk last year, India is the world’s third largest emitter of planet-warming methane, Sibi Arusa wrote for the Associated Press, describing how the country is responding to the climate crisis. Livestock produce about 48% of India’s methane, and the federal government has made some positive steps to reduce methane, but it wants to focus on moving to renewable energy, saying most methane emissions are a fact of life. Meanwhile, experts say the agriculture industry can and should reduce more. “Climate-smart dairying is the need of the hour,” said Meenesh Shah, chairman of the government’s National Dairy Development Board, which is looking into genetic improvement programs to provide more nutritious feed that would make cows more productive. NDDB studies show a balanced diet for the animals reduces emissions by as much as 15%. Methane can trap more than 80 times more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide in the short term.

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