Sustainable farming across Europe is only possible if emissions of methane – a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming – are tackled alongside carbon dioxide emissions.
And in a European Parliament vote today on the bloc’s energy and climate commitments, MEPs backed a call for the Commission to draw up a specific strategy to tackle the greenhouse gas.
The EEB welcomes this long overdue political will to incorporate a specific methane strategy into new plans  on how European countries can meet EU energy and climate targets and calls on EU governments to back the strategy in forthcoming political negotiations .
The EEB is Europe’s largest network of environmental citizens’ organisations with around 140 organisations in more than 30 countries.
Around half of methane emissions come from farming. Methane also has an indirect impact on air quality and in turn human health .
EEB Policy Manager for Agriculture and Bioenergy, Faustine Bas-Defossez, said:
“To tackle climate change it’s crucial that EU policies and measures recognise that methane can significantly contribute to global warming in the short term as it is incredibly potent in the first two decades after being released.
“Given that excessive methane emissions are the by-product of a farming model that has left farmers reliant on exporting intensively-produced cheap animal products outside Europe, EU policies must also support the transition to a sustainable farming system that gives farmers fair prices for their produce. Farmers are at the frontline facing the impact of climate change, so ensuring the EU adopts a sound strategy on a potent greenhouse gas like methane is a win-win for the climate and the farm sector’s long-term ability to farm.”