We have previously discussed how a significant cut in emissions is necessary to slow global warming and curb climate change. In this week’s Two Degree Difference, we’ll talk about which emissions are most harmful and what cuts may be needed in Vermont for a cleaner, more sustainable future.

Methane is detrimental to climate change because it’s a greenhouse gas that holds eighty times the warming power of carbon dioxide over a twenty-year period, but it also breaks down in the atmosphere after about a dozen years. This is compared to a breaking down period of multiple centuries for carbon dioxide. All in all, this means that rapidly cutting methane could have a big payoff in just this decade alone.

Easier said than done, right? Especially as we consider methane emissions in the Green Mountain State which stem from one of our biggest economic drivers and that is agriculture. Agriculture accounts for more than seventy percent of Vermont’s methane emissions. Taking less trips to the landfill and composting or giving your cattle an alternative feed are just some ideas to help cut down on methane emissions in our state.

Emissions of any sort are not just a Vermont based problem. It’s a global problem where the U.S. is currently taking bronze…and not for good reason. The United Nations climate change convention has a goal of reducing global methane emissions at least thirty percent from 2020 levels across all sectors by 2030.