top of page

Save the Planet: Focus on Methane

In 2021, a landmark report from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sounded the alarm that additional warming is inevitable. Countries must make “strong, rapid, and sustained” reductions in carbon dioxide—the most abundant and damaging greenhouse gas. For the first time, the report also documented that reducing methane is the best and fastest strategy for slowing global warming. This means that incentivizing further reductions in methane is critically important to staving off catastrophic impacts.

What the experts are saying:

“Quickly reducing methane could counteract global warming, while also improving air quality.”

– Maisa Rojas Corradi, IPCC Report Co-author, University of Chile

“Cutting methane is the single biggest and fastest strategy for slowing down warming.”

– Durwood Zaulke, President, Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, Washington, D.C.

IPCC Press Release, IPCC Report Policy Summary

web banner_GotMethane.jpg

California is leading the way for dairy methane reduction. 

A recent analysis by UC Davis researchers further documents accomplishments to date and shows that continued implementation of California’s incentive-based dairy methane reduction efforts should, by 2030, achieve the state’s world-leading target for reducing dairy methane emissions by 40% by 2030. Additionally, the report predicts that California dairy farms will reach “climate neutrality” by 2030, or  the point in which no additional warming is added to the atmosphere.

Read the Report: Meeting the Call: How California is Pioneering a Pathway to Significant Dairy Sector Methane Reduction


Additionally, several reports from the Newsom Administration document the significant environmental, climate, social, and economic benefits of dairy digesters and other dairy methane reduction efforts. These benefits include significant direct and indirect benefits to local disadvantaged communities and priority populations.

2022 cover_ca climate investments_Page_01.jpg

California Climate Investments - 2022 Annual Report

  • Documents that the dairy digester program is responsible for achieving 28% of all GHG reductions from all programs invested in by the state with just 1.5% of total funds implemented.

  • Identifies the dairy digester program as the state's most cost effective, at just $9 per ton of reduction.

  • Reports that 67% of funds expended on dairy digesters are benefiting priority populations. 


California Department of Food and Agriculture -  Report of Funded (DDRDP) Projects

  • Estimates the cumulative reduction from the dairy digester program as 21.12 million metric tons (MMTCO2e) over 10 years or 2.11 MMTCO2e annually.  

  • Documents the environmental protection of water and air quality. 

  • Identifies significant air, water quality, and nuisance (odor) benefits provided to local communities. 


California Air Resources Board -  Analysis of Progress toward Achieving the 2030 Dairy and Livestock Sector Methane Emissions Target

  • Documents the progress toward the targeted livestock sector methane reductions. 

  • Identifies the need for additional incentives and grant funding. ​

  • Estimates the societal benefits of reducing methane emissions at up to $1,878 per metric ton.

  • Documents the 40% target reduction in dairy and livestock methane cannot be achieved without significant additional digester development.


The United Nations environmental program (UNep) assessment underscores the importance of methane reduction in the dairy and livestock sector to overall achievement of the global Paris Climate Agreement to limit additional warming to 1.5 degrees C by 2050. 

  • The Global Methane Assessment recognizes the value of reducing methane in the short-term, including important social, health, environmental, and economic benefits. ​

  • The Global Methane Assessment specifically identifies livestock methane as well as the use of biogas digesters as critical targeted measures to achieve reductions in the short term. 

Planet-Smart Dairy

Planet-Smart Dairy

Watch Now

California Dairy's
Climate Neutral Future

California's family dairy farmers are world leaders in developing climate-smart practices. They are making great strides to reduce reliance on fossils fuels and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. 


Methane, Cows, and Climate Change:

California Dairy's Path to Climate Neutrality

UC Davis white paper looks at evolving climate science and its implications for the California dairy sector.


Dairy Farm Families Are...