Livestock Enteric Methane Mitigation

Innovation is urgently needed to develop solutions for mitigating livestock enteric methane, which can be deployed and scaled rapidly, while ready solutions start to roll out.

What is it?

Enteric methane is a gas released from ruminant livestock, like beef and dairy cattle, as a byproduct of their unique digestive systems.

Enteric methane is a waste byproduct — reducing enteric methane has the potential to increase livestock productivity, as the energy from methane can be diverted into meat or milk, instead of burped out as gas.

Why is it Important?

Livestock Enteric Methane accounts for 25% of global anthropogenic methane emissions

Livestock enteric methane accounts for as much methane as fossil fuel infrastructure leaks, driving about 0.1°C and counting of warming. Existing commercial solutions can partially mitigate livestock enteric emissions from cattle on feedlots and similar facilities, but that’s just a small portion of total enteric methane emissions – less than 10% globally.  Addressing the remaining portion requires systematic and coordinated research, international development, and sociology investments.

25%

of global anthropogenic methane emissions come from livestock enteric emissions

0.1°C

and counting of warming comes from livestock methane emissions alone

90%+

is the estimate of global enteric methane emissions that comes from livestock while on pasture

3.7 billion+

head of livestock globally with enteric methane emissions

Spark’s Approach

Spark is working to overcome obstacles and clear a path for dramatic reductions in agricultural emissions

Obstacles impeding reductions in agricultural emissions include a lack of solutions for livestock enteric methane emissions (“cow burps”), insufficiency or absence of incentives for the adoption of emerging solutions, consumer and producer sentiment, and a lack of accessible greenhouse gas measurement technologies to aid solution evaluation and verification of their use. Spark is taking an ecosystem approach toward overcoming these obstacles.

Our current priorities

Coordinating policy efforts to drive development and adoption of emerging solutions.

Agricultural emissions are part of integrated systems that require physical practice change to address, however, producer groups that represent the farmers and ranchers who will inevitably deploy these solutions, are rarely part of the discussion. Spark is developing a bi-partisan platform that brings together NGOs and producer groups to drive aligned field development initiatives, informed by what makes sense on farm, and what is needed to reduce emissions.

Innovation toward globally applicable solutions.  

In order to address enteric methane emissions globally, we must innovate and develop solutions that work across the spectrum of farm and animal management practices. Spark is directly supporting innovation research that is globally applicable, and is partnered with international efforts focused on livestock enteric methane research.

Improved understanding of consumer and producer barriers to adoption. 

Better understanding sentiment toward the adoption of emerging technologies, will allow the pro-active dissolution of barriers, and rapid demonstration, adoption and trust in livestock enteric methane mitigation solutions.

Latest

          More Info

US Research And Development Will Improve Animal Productivity, Address Greenhouse Gases, And Hasten Additional Market Solutions

Regulatory simplification and an $82m per year U.S. Department of Agriculture research and innovation program would create a win for producers and a win for the environment by advancing solutions that easily drop into existing farm practices and convert avoided methane into increased milk and meat production.

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Farm Bill Recommendations

The world needs solutions for lowering agricultural methane emissions that can be deployed and scaled rapidly. The US has an opportunity to lead on agricultural innovation through 2023 Farm Bill research funding and capacity-building.

Read More

Job Opportunities In This Area

We're looking for talented, strategic, climate-motivated, and scientifically-driven colleagues to join our team at Spark, including in the following roles related to our exploratory areas:

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