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Reining in the Methane Hoofprint of Cows in California

Date & Time

May. 10, 2023
12:00pm – 1:15pm ET


Online Only


California has long been a leader in tackling climate change, from technology-pushing policies for clean vehicles and major clean energy investments to spearheading the country’s largest carbon trading system. Besides well-publicized climate action in the power and vehicle sectors, California—a top dairy-producing state—has also been quietly leading the country in reducing methane emissions from livestock, which is responsible for 94 percent of methane emissions in U.S. agriculture. California’s highly successful incentive-based approach for dairy methane reduction has become a model for some of the Biden Administration’s $20 billion climate-smart agriculture grants and investments. California’s livestock policies and practices also offer a roadmap for China and other countries.  

At this talk speakers from California will highlight how the state has accelerated climate action around methane from cows. Ken Alex (UC Berkeley) will kick off the panel by talking about the broader challenge of cows and methane emissions globally and in California. Ermias Kebreab (UC Davis) will share his story on developing and commercializing new feedstocks using red seaweed and almond husks that lower cow methane emissions. Matthew Botill (California Air Resources Board) will discuss how California Air Resources Board’s emission trading around agriculture and capacity-building programs have been instrumental in accelerating methane reductions in livestock, as well as rice.  As a commentator, Xiaopu Sun (Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development) will talk about methane action in China.

This event is also co-sponsored by UC Berkeley’s California-China Climate Institute, and is part of a series of webinars produced for China Environment Forum and Ohio State University’s project on Cultivating U.S. and Chinese Leadership on Food and Climate.

Keynote Speaker

Xiaopu Sun

Xiaopu Sun

Senior China Counsel, Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development


Ermias Kebreab

Ermias Kebreab

Associate Dean, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis; Director, World Food Center 
Ken Alex

Ken Alex

Director of Project Climate, University of California at Berkeley’s Center for Law, Energy and Environment
matthew botill

Matthew Botill

Division Chief, California Air Resources Board

Hosted By

China Environment Forum

Since 1997, the China Environment Forum's mission has been to forge US-China cooperation on energy, environment, and sustainable development challenges. We play a unique nonpartisan role in creating multi-stakeholder dialogues around these issues.  Read more

Environmental Change and Security Program

The Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) explores the connections between environmental change, health, and population dynamics and their links to conflict, human insecurity, and foreign policy.  Read more

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