Seven amendments to the EU’s Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions will be discussed by MEPs in Strasbourg next week, among them one which says biogenic methane needs to be valued differently to other methane.
The amendments were put forward by Irish MEP Colm Markey, Norbert Lins MEP and Alexander Bernhuber MEP.
The first amendment calls for a review of the “current methane accounting system to accurately reflect the warming impact of biogenic methane” and another states that the strategy should recognise that “livestock grazing can play a central role in the mitigation” of greenhouse gases.
A further amendment to the strategy seeks to acknowledge the “need to establish an accurate baseline for agricultural emissions”.
Breeding and genetics
MEPs will also discuss a change to the strategy which would consider that “there is great potential in breeding, genetics, integrated manure management and the treatment of emissions from slurry”.
The amendments recognise the role that new technologies can play in methane mitigation such as dietary supplements, advances in breeding and manure management
There will be discussion on an amendment which calls for the sustainable acceleration of EU biogas production from agricultural waste as an important tool to reduce methane emissions and to increase circularity in the agricultural sector and as a source of renewable energy.
Markey said the amendments offer a pathway as to how agriculture can aim to address its significant methane responsibilities.
“As the EPP rapporteur for the agricultural committee’s opinion on the strategy, I was keen to include the recommendations put forward by AGRI and build on the environmental committee’s report.
“The amendments recognise the role that new technologies can play in methane mitigation such as dietary supplements, advances in breeding and manure management.
“They also call for the establishment of a baseline year by which any reduction in methane emissions can be measured against. In addition, the amendments recognise the importance of biogas, which is an industry I believe we need to build on, and pasture-based systems as well as the role of livestock in the production of edible proteins, maintaining biodiversity and utilising non-arable lands," Markey said.