PM: Norway’s cows fart too much

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 27 Nov, 2015 Updated Fri 27 Nov 2015 09:28 CEST
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Norway has found itself in a serious discussion on cow farts after the PM said the animals’ gas release is too high, an allegation that a farming representative slammed as “putrid” and a sign of the PM’s “lack of knowledge”.


Ahead of the COP21 climate talks in Paris, Norwegian PM Erna Solberg said that one of the best ways her country can cut emissions is to target agriculture, including cow farts. 
“It is such that Norwegian cows fart too much, so to speak. Transport and agriculture are the largest areas outside of the quota-obliged sectors. We must make cuts that make a difference here at home. We must prepare ourselves for brining emissions in these sectors down significantly,” Solberg told VG, which reported that transport accounts for 32 percent of Norway’s emissions while agriculture accounts for nine percent. 
Solberg’s cow fart comments led to some chuckles in the Norwegian media, but the national association of farmers and small-holders (Norsk Bonde og Småbrukarlag) found them no laughing matter. 
“That is a putrid distraction and Erna has a total lack of knowledge,” the association’s head, Ann Merete Furuberg, told VG
“For tens of thousands, perhaps millions of years, we have had ruminants on Earth. If their emissions are so dangerous, surely it would have led to catastrophe already,” she said. 
“This is not about innocent animals farting, it is about us burning oil for production and transport. Oil is the true climate challenge,” she added. 
Odd Magne Harstad, a professor of animal sciences at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, agreed that the PM’s focus on cow farts stunk. 
“Of the methane gas that comes from cows, it is just three percent that comes from their farts. Most of it is breathed or burped out,” he told VG. 



The Local 2015/11/27 09:28

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