We all know that cows (and other ruminants animals like sheep) emit methane, a strong greenhouse gas. But this methane is part of a natural, or biogenic, carbon cycle where the methane breaks down into CO2 and water after about 12 years. The grass then absorbs the CO2 through photosynthesis, cows eat the grass and the cycle continues.
The CO2 from burning fossil fuel on the other hand, stays in the atmosphere for potentially 1,000 years
The animation below shows how the environmental impact of methane emissions from cows is fundamentally different to the carbon dioxide from fossil fuels.
In Australia methane emissions from agriculture are falling. In fact the Australian beef industry has more than halved GHG emissions since 2005. With investment into innovative emissions reduction practices and technologies the red meat and livestock industry will be carbon neutral by 2030 and play a key part of the climate solution.