Gone with the wind: French scheme targets farting cows

Feb 12, 2013
A picture taken on June 9, 2011, shows a cow in a field in Marsac-en-Livradois, central France. A French cattle feed company on Tuesday unveiled a novel form of carbon credits aimed at incentivising farmers to stop cows from emitting climate-changing farts.

A French cattle feed company on Tuesday unveiled a novel form of carbon credits aimed at incentivising farmers to stop cows from emitting climate-changing farts.

Grass-chewing farm animals are an often-overlooked contributor to global warming, as their emissions are of methane, a gas that is two dozen times more efficient than dioxide in trapping solar heat.

In France, cattle account for five percent of the country's carbon output.

At a press conference, the company Valorex said it would offer a carbon-credit bonus to farmers who join the "Bleu-Blanc-Coeur" (Blue-White-Heart) initiative, which promotes food products with higher levels of the valued protein Omega 3.

Valorex sells a trade mix that comprises corn, soy, lupin and linseed, which it says means emit 64-percent less methane, deliver better quality milk and need fewer vet bills.

A credit of 100 euros ($134) will be awarded for every tonne of CO2-equivalent gas that is saved from entering the atmosphere, said Valorex president Pierre Weill.

The credit cannot be used on the European carbon market, where the CO2 has collapsed to just a few euros (dollars) a tonne.

Instead, it has to be exchanged for goods and services provided by other companies which are part of a long-running "Bleu-Blanc-Coeur" (Blue-White-Heart) initiative.

The new scheme, certified as bona fide by the French government and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), has so far notched up 8,365 tonnes of averted carbon.

Out of France's 72,000 milk producers, 500 have joined Bleu-Blanc-Coeur, which requires them to follow strict guidelines.

Explore further: Pact with devil? California farmers use oil firms' water

Related Stories

Vt. farmers cut cows' emissions by altering diets

Jun 21, 2009

(AP) -- Vermont dairy farmers Tim Maikshilo and Kristen Dellert, mindful of shrinking their carbon footprint, have changed their cows' diet to reduce the amount of gas the animals burp - dairy cows' contribution ...

Kyoto scheme sees billionth tonne of saved CO2

Sep 07, 2012

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), a Kyoto Protocol device to curb greenhouse gases through market forces, has now issued a billion tonnes of carbon credits, the UN climate forum announced on Friday.

Recommended for you

Gimmicks and technology: California learns to save water

22 hours ago

Billboards and TV commercials, living room visits, guess-your-water-use booths, and awards for water stinginess—a wealthy swath of Orange County that once had one of the worst records for water conservation ...

Cities, regions call for 'robust' world climate pact

22 hours ago

Thousands of cities, provinces and states from around the world urged national governments on Thursday to deliver a "robust, binding, equitable and universal" planet-saving climate pact in December.

Will climate change put mussels off the menu?

22 hours ago

Climate change models predict that sea temperatures will rise significantly, including in the tropics. In these areas, rainfall is also predicted to increase, reducing the salt concentration of the surface ...

As nations dither, cities pick up climate slack

Jul 02, 2015

Their national governments hamstrung by domestic politics, stretched budgets and diplomatic inertia, many cities and provinces have taken a leading role—driven by necessity—in efforts to arrest galloping ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.