Methane emissions – Call for Evidence

Environment and climate
Four cattle in a shed eating

The House of Lords’ Environment and Climate Change Committee is examining whether the UK is on track to contribute to the Global Methane Pledge goal to cut methane at least 30% by 2030. 

The NFU has submitted its response calling for dual reporting using both metrics, GWP100 and GWP*, and urged caution that any methane metric or policy should not have unintended consequences by overlooking the environmental and social benefits British cattle have.

The NFU sees that the need for innovation is clear, but there is no ‘silver bullet’ for managing our methane emissions.

Methane suppressing feed products are one possible tool in the toolbox, but we require more information on the effectiveness of these products, their impact on animal health and welfare, and resolution of who pays.

The NFU's feedback form has now closed.

The House of Lords Select Committee's Call for Evidence has now closed. 

24 April 2024

NFU President Tom Bradshaw appears in front of the Environment and Climate Change committee

Tom Bradshaw - giving evidence

NFU President Tom Bradshaw recently appeared in front of the House of Lords’ Environment and Climate Change Committee to give evidence on its inquiry into methane.

This session focused on agriculture, but the Committee has also taken evidence from stakeholders and regulators in the landfill and oil industry.

Tom warned that exporting Britain’s production overseas presents a real danger because methane emissions have a global impact, irrespective of origin, and red meat produced in Britain emits 50% less emissions than the global average.

International impact

The Committee were interested in the international impact and asked if the NFU would support a methane tax on imports.

Tom acknowledged the point but said that single metrics might not provide the outcomes that consumers want and hypothesised a situation where a high animal welfare system might produce more emissions.

In addition, the Committee were interested to hear about the most effective ways to measure, baseline, and reduce methane emissions.

There were questions surrounding whether technological solutions would be viable, and if they could have any unintended consequences.

Tom cautioned that methane-inhibiting feed additives should not be seen as a silver bullet, and that working to eradicate diseases like Bluetongue and bTB would also drive down emissions.

Issues around data

The issues surrounding the availability of data were also raised throughout the session.

Tom told the Committee that we must understand exactly how much methane farmers and growers are producing if we are to spend public money reducing emissions.

This is because it would be impossible to justify the investment without being able to compare our progress.

However, he did caveat this by stressing that farm-level data needs to be protected and benefit the farmers themselves.

The NFU very much welcomed the opportunity to give evidence to the Environment and Climate Change Committee and has also submitted written evidence as part of its inquiry into methane.

Watch back Tom Bradshaw giving evidence on –

15 April 2024

Call for Evidence closes

This Call for Evidence has now closed. 

6 March 2024

House of Lords Select Committee launches Call for Evidence on methane

The House of Lords’ Select Committee Call for Evidence on methane is part of an inquiry into the progress the UK has made as a signatory of the Global Methane Pledge.

The pledge is a commitment to reduce global methane emissions by at least 30% from 2020 levels by 2030.

The inquiry is looking at progress made across a range of industries including agriculture, fossil fuels and waste.

For agriculture, the Call for Evidence is interested in technologies and policies to help reduce methane emissions, how reducing methane emissions needs to be balanced with food security, and measurements and metrics for methane eg, GWP*.

Also relevant is the question on what more could be done to collect food waste separately from landfill.

You can read more on the Call for Evidence at:

Read more around the net

This page was first published on 25 March 2024. It was updated on 24 April 2024.

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  • 24 April 2024: Tom Bradshaw appears in front of Environment and Climate Change committee
  • 12 April 2024: NFU responds to Call for Evidence on methane emissions
  • 19 March 2024: NFU consultation launched, deadline 25 March 2024, 11:59pm
  • 6 March 2024: House of Lords Select Committee launches its Call for Evidence on methane