Methane levels comparable to industry

THE contribution of UK red meat farming to global warming is comparable to computers or the shipping industry, according to climate change expert, Dr Martin Hodson.

“Methane from animals, sheep and cows in particular, is the one everyone is talking about - but there are quite a lot of methane sources and not only ruminants contribute,” he said. “Methane from ruminants is a little over a quarter of the amount produced.

“Methane is responsible for 24 per cent of anthropogenic global warming, whereas carbon dioxide is the major contributor at 63 per cent.

“In worldwide terms, ruminants are directly responsible for 6.3 per cent, but in the UK we are more efficient at 2.9 per cent of total global warming potential.

“This compares with air travel at 2 per cent, shipping at 3 per cent and computers at 2 per cent.

“I certainly do not see any reason why the meat industry should bear any more of the targets to combat climate change than any other,” he said.

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