Beef Buzz News
Scott Yager on What New Methane Measurements Mean for the Cattle Industry
Fri, 13 Aug 2021 10:05:43 CDT
Ron Hays met with Scott Yager, chief environmental council for the NCBA, to go over the findings in the new IPCC report and what they mean for the cattle industry. The report, which was released early this week, showed methane doesn’t have near the same long-term impacts on air pollution as CO2.
Listen to Ron and Scott's conversation here
According to the EPA , agriculture accounted for 10% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2019. Throughout the years, cattle have become the poster child of methane emissions. Although cattle do produce methane, the IPCC report now classifies methane as a Short-Lived Climate Forcer (SLCF).
“The UN is recognizing something that’s called GWP*, which is basically a new measurement that accounts for the fact that methane is a short-lived gas,” Yager said. “This is important for the cattle industry because as you know, cattle emit methane - that’s what we (in the cattle industry) get beat over our heads with all the time by activist groups, but now if we incorporate the use of this new GWP* metric, we will begin to see that the greenhouse gas impact from cattle is much smaller than we previously believed.”
Historically, methane has been counted as a 25-multiplier of a carbon equivalent, which was then being multiplied by 100 years - which is wrong, Yager said.
“After 10 years, methane breaks down in the atmosphere,” Yager said. “Now we know it should only be counted for 10 years.”
It is important for the cattle industry to realize that the new greenhouse gas measurement information is vital in enabling the industry to justify good policy decisions, according to Yager.
Yager said he is concerned that the EPA has not come on board with the new findings at this time.
“Now that the UN is starting to recognize (the updated data), there’s a role for us at the NCBA to go push the EPA to start adopting that as well,” Yager said.
Yager said this could change the way people view the cattle industry - in a very positive way.
Today’s Beef Buzz, from the 2021 Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, is a service of Farm Data Services of Stillwater.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from Scott Yager on Methane numbers and the new future of the cattle industry.
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