Carbon offset protocol for beef cattle methane emissions up for consultation

(Paige Holmquist/RealAgriculture)

Environment and Climate Change Canada has published its draft protocol for Reducing Enteric Methane Emissions from Beef Cattle (REME protocol).

This is the fourth draft protocol under Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Offset Credit System, following those for refrigeration, landfill methane (completed), and forestry (in draft).

The REME protocol is intended to “incentivize farmers to implement changes that would reduce enteric methane emissions from their beef cattle operations with an opportunity to generate offset credits that they can sell,” says ECCC.

This latest protocol for a regulated carbon offset market is in draft form and open for input until February 6, 2024. The Government of Canada is seeking input from stakeholders on the draft REME protocol. Interested parties are invited to submit comments via email by February 6, 2024, at [email protected].

The final protocol is expected to be published in the summer of 2024, when farmers can begin registering their projects in Canada’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Offset Credit System, the government says.

Methane is generated during the natural digestive process of cows and is released into the air when cows burp. This is known as an enteric methane emission. The federal government says that the REME protocol will “encourage beef cattle farms to reduce enteric methane emissions by improving animal diets, management, and other strategies that support more efficient animal growth.”

Federal protocols are being created to support a regulated carbon credit market. Each credit represents one tonne of CO2-equivalent emission reductions. Credits can be sold to facilities that will use them to meet emissions reduction obligations, or to other businesses to meet their low-carbon economy commitments, the government says.

Related: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada launches methane reduction challenge

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