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Methane is one of the worst greenhouse gases. Whilst not as abundant as carbon dioxide, and therefore not quite as well publicised, it is actually 24 times as affective as CO2 at trapping heat in the atmosphere.
Methane is also abundant in farts, especially from grazing animals such as cows. In France cow farts account for five percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.
This has led the French cattle feed company Valorex, to promote a new form of carbon credit system which incentivises farmers to limit the methane-based farts that cows emit.
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The carbon credit scheme, called the Bleu-Blanc-Coeur (Blue-White-Heart) initiative, promotes the food products which are high in Omega 3 and made of corn, soy, lupin, and linseed, all of which mean the cows emit 64% less methane.
A credit of €100 is awarded to the farmer for every tonne of CO2-equivalent gas that is prevented from entering the atmosphere. The credit can then be used to buy products from the companies that are part of the Bleu-Blanc-Coeur initiative.
Both the French government, and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have approved the scheme, which so far includes 500 of Frances 72,000 milk producing farms, and has helped to reduce methane emissions by 8,365 tonnes.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com