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As evidenced by the passage of Senate Bill 1383 (Lara) in 2016, California has long understood the importance of slowing the release of methane (CH4) and other short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) to address global climate change. A recent global methane assessment conducted by the United Nations environmental program (UNep) emphasizes the need to further abate methane as a short-term hedge against the more damaging and long-term impacts of carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary GHG causing global warming.


Methane’s enormous potential as a mitigation opportunity is its short-lived nature, lasting just a decade or so in the atmosphere before breaking down. That means stabilizing existing methane emissions quickly—and further reducing methane concentrations in the atmosphere—will most effectively help the world meet its 2050 targets for fighting global warming.


By contrast, carbon dioxide—the most abundant GHG emission—lasts for hundreds of years. So, while it remains critical to continue reducing carbon dioxide, seeking reductions in methane is far more important in the short term.


As a result, funding short term methane emissions reductions should be priority number one for California. However, investments in methane reduction have decreased significantly in recent years, as funding for dairy methane reduction programs and other SLCPs have been cut, contrary to this emerging understanding.


Consider the following:

  • According to the annual California Climate Investments report, the Dairy Digester Research and Development Program (DDRDP) alone is achieving more GHG (CO2e) reductions than any other climate investment, achieving 29% of total GHG reductions while being allocated just 1.4% of the total funds invested by California.


  • At a cost of just nine dollars per ton of CO2e reduced, the DDRDP is California’s most effective investment in the fight against climate change.


  • The state's family dairy farms are on course to meet the states 40% manure methane reduction goal by 2030, having already achieved more than 60% of the reductions needed.


  • Both the DDRDP and the Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP) are oversubscribed, documenting the need for additional funds.


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...


Helping Cool the Planet

California dairy farms have

reduced GHG emissions

by more than 45%

over the past 50 years. 



World Leaders

By implementing digesters and

 alternative manure management

projects, California dairy farms are further reducing GHG emissions.



Soaking Up the Sun

More than 150 California dairy farms are creating clean, solar energy. Dairies are also reducing reliance on fossil fuels through energy efficiency and electrifying farm equipment.



What is Climate Neutrality?

When an entity or industry has no net global warming impact. "Warming Neutral."


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. 

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