In a bid to tackle methane emissions in agriculture, Microsoft founder and billionaire Bill Gates announced a major investment in an Australian start-up company Rumin8. As per the latest reports, Gates has made an investment of approximately $12 million (Rs 98 crore) through his ‘Breakthrough Energy Venture’, which is also backed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Chinese entrepreneur Jack Ma. Notably, the start-up has been aiming to work toward environmental concerns and to bring solutions for decreasing methane emissions generated from cattle burps. The company is already working actively on the same issue for a long time.
According to a statement issued by the outlet, the funding was led by the Bill Gates Foundation along with the participation of Andrew and Nicola Forrest’s agri-food business Harvest Road Group. The funding of $12 million will be used for ‘commercial trials’ in countries like Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and the USA, as well as product brand development and pilot manufacturing plant development.
Speaking on the same, Rumin8’s managing director David Messina expressed his pleasure over receiving the great reception from climate impact funds. “There is a genuine desire to fund solutions to enteric methane emissions from livestock and fortunately for Rumin8, they can see the benefits of our technology,” he added as quoted by media reports.
Contribution of livestock toward environmental crisisOne of the most common greenhouse gases emitted after carbon dioxide, methane is generally produced by animals like cows, goats, and deer when their stomachs break down hard fibres for digestion. According to the United Nations Environment Program, methane is said to be 80 times more potent at warming in comparison to CO2 for over the first two decades after it reaches the atmosphere.
In order to reduce emissions, several countries have been exploring legislation to tackle methane production from livestock. In October last year, the New Zealand government also announced plans to levy taxes on farmers to address animal burps.