Scientists in Ireland are gathering natural seaweed to give to cows and sheep to minimize the amount of methane gas emitted by agricultural animals. Seaweed given to animals has been demonstrated in studies to reduce the quantity of climate-warming gasses they release. Ireland has the most significant per capita methane gas production in Europe.
Ireland joined a global commitment to reduce methane gas emission by 30% by 2030 at the recent United Nations Climate Change conference in Scotland. According to Irish authorities, such reductions will be achieved mainly by a 50% decrease in non-agriculture methane emissions. By 2030, the nation hopes to cut farm-related methane emissions by 10%. The initiative intends to employ seaweed additions in food to avoid cutting animal populations to meet climate change targets.
Researchers evaluated over 20 different types of seaweed, the majority of which came from Ireland’s Atlantic coast. The project’s collaborators have gathered many different varieties in Canada, Norway, Sweden and Germany. Scientists from the United States and Australia have previously established that one seaweed, Asparagopsis, has methane-reducing properties. In testing, small quantities were added to animal feed. However, this kind of seaweed is difficult to cultivate in Northwestern Europe. Instead, the Irish study seeks natural seaweeds inside the nation. However, several researchers concede that the local varieties are unlikely to achieve more than 80% methane reduction, as shown by Asparagopsis.
Irish academics are exploring methods to include seaweed supplements into the country’s cattle ranching system. The majority of cattle are fed on grass. Additionally, Royal DSM, a Dutch chemical business, manufactures a food ingredient that it claims may reduce methane emissions by 30%.
The firm has acquired official clearance in Brazil and Chile, and it is presently pursuing approval in the European Union. Not everyone is convinced that such additions will aid in meeting the most recent climate change objectives. Sadhbh O’Neill works at Dublin City University as a climate policy and environmental politics specialist and has criticized industry efforts to rely on technology rather than establish feasible long-term objectives for Ireland’s farm economy. “It takes time to scale up these solutions. We don’t have enough time, “According to O’Neill.