Reducing methane emissions is seen as the biggest opportunity for slowing global heating by 2040
About a third of human-caused methane emissions come from livestock, mostly from beef and dairy cattle, produced in the digestive process that allows ruminants (hoofed animals including cows, sheep and goats with four-part stomachs) to absorb plants.
Cows and other farm animals produce about 14% of human-induced climate emissions, and it is methane from their burps and manure that is seen as both the biggest concern and best opportunity for tackling global heating.
Although methane breaks down relatively quickly in the atmosphere, it is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Reducing these emissions has been touted as one of the most immediate opportunities to slow global heating ahead of the Cop26 UN climate talks in Glasgow.