As per the reports, around 600 million tonnes of methane gas were absorbed in the atmosphere in the year 2017. The distinguishing factor between methane and CO2 is, dangerously, methane is 28 times better than CO2 at trapping heat.
Mootral, well know British-Swiss company, focused on developing food supplements to reduce methane emissions from ruminant animals. In a recent interview, a Mootral scientist said, ’Methane from cows is so much more powerful than carbon dioxide.’
The British Swiss company produces important supplements, which has significantly reduced methane emissions from cows. Some reports suggest, with the help of Mootral products, emissions were reduced up to 30%.
The same firm has come up with the idea of selling carbon credits to allow companies to offset their CO2 footprint. Reportedly, this recently developed special feed was prepared in Mootral’s laboratory in Abertillery, Welsh Valleys.
An extract of garlic is used to make this especially and carefully formulated feed. When cows are fed with it, a significant amount of Methane production is reduced, as the micro-organisms are removed from the cow’s stomach.
Now, Mootral is persuading companies and individuals to offset this carbon footprint, by purchasing their ‘CowCredits’. It is priced around £60 – equal to at least one tonne of CO2.
The claim made by Mootral is exceptional. They say that if supposedly, all the 1.5 billion cows in the world would consume their feed (for a year). Then, the amount of CO2 eliminated from the atmosphere would be equivalent to removing more than 330 million cars from the road.
Dan Neef, senior scientist at Mootral said, “It is a gamechanger – cows are a huge problem, they put an enormous amount of methane into the atmosphere, and what people don’t appreciate is methane is so much more powerful than carbon dioxide even as a global warming gas.”
What to expect?
Well, that’s difficult to answer, in the world of science, we rely on data. Let’s see what the data indicates.
Dr. Rob Jackson, a scientist from Stanford University, led a project known as the ‘Global Carbon Project’. The results showed that between 2000 and 2017, agriculture is the main reason for around two-thirds of methane emissions. Its caused due to human activities.
Mootral CEO Thomas Hafner mentioned, “Cows play an important role in our ecosystem, improving soil quality and supporting carbon sequestration, as well as providing a great source of nutrition.”
He added, “It’s time for us to help them become part of the solution in the global fight against climate change.”
It is understandable that the idea of developing such specialized feed is complex and it will incur huge costs. Therefore, the company’s idea of funding the feed, through carbon offsetting schemes will allow it to be supplied to farmers on a large scale.
People running cattle farms in the UK, understood the company’s proposition, and they’re open to the idea, considering the benefits it would bring to the society at large.
William Mann, an organic cattle farm owner from Cotswolds, UK, gave his thoughts in an interview with Sky news. He said, “It would need to be a supplement alongside the grass – if they can come up with an organic and pasture-fed one, I would be very keen,”
He added, “Margins are tight, and farmers are businessmen at the end of the day. It would be down to the individual farmer and system whether they can afford to take it on.”
Brades Farm in the UK and one other farm in Europe, are using Mootral’s feed. Let’s hope this revolutionary idea gets popularized in the Western world. Battling climate change is one of the world’s top priorities.