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Agriculture: Methane

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL3767, tabled on 8 November 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to reduce agricultural methane emissions.

Answered on

22 November 2021

The UK has a strong record on reducing emissions from methane, one of the main greenhouses gases warming our planet, with around 60% of methane emissions cut across the waste, energy and agricultural sectors compared with 1990 levels. Moreover, as announced at COP26, the UK is proud to be one of the first signatories of the The Global Methane Pledge, a commitment to take voluntary actions to reduce global methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030, against 2020 levels.

The Government’s recently published Net Zero Strategy sets out our plans to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions, including a range of policies and actions further to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (including methane) from agriculture.

For example, ruminant livestock are the leading cause of agriculture methane emissions, but feed additives with methane inhibiting properties have the potential to reduce emissions, especially from housed cattle. Whilst this is an emerging technology, the Government is actively investigating the promising role these products may have in delivering emissions savings in the medium term.

An application for a promising feed additive is currently being processed by both the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland. The application has been formally validated and will now be subject to a robust risk assessment as part of the regulated products process.

More broadly the Government will support the agricultural sector to decarbonise through the schemes set out in the Agricultural Transition Plan, which aims to support farmers to adopt low greenhouse gas emission farming practices and increase the carbon stored on their farms, helping to improve business productivity and profitability gains.