imgMethaneIcon Methane & Other Gases

Decrease or increase greenhouse gas emissions from methane, nitrous oxide, and the f-gases. Methane is released from sources like cows, agriculture, natural gas drilling, and waste. Nitrous oxide comes from fertilizers. The f-gases, includes HFCs, PFCs, and others that are used in industry and consumer goods like air conditioners.


  • Decreased meat consumption.
  • Modified agricultural practices such as increasing digestion of manure and decreasing fertilizer use.
  • Decreased leakage from oil and gas industries.
  • Increased capturing of gases emitted from landfills.
  • Research and development on substitutions for f-gases (e.g. SF6 and HFC) in industrial processes.

Slider Settings

highly reduced moderately reduced status quo
Percent reduction or increase of maximum action -100% to -50% -50% to 0% 0% to +10%

Key Dynamics

  • Watch temperature increase fall as emissions of methane, N2O, and F-gases fall. They comprise 30% of current greenhouse gas emissions and are very important in addressing climate change.

Big Message

  • Reducing methane, nitrous oxide, and the f-gases is high leverage, although many approaches to reducing these emissions need more research and support to scale up.

Model Structure

The model limits how much these emissions can be reduced, since some are considered unavoidable, particularly those from agriculture, landfills, and wastewater.

Potential Co-Benefits of Decreasing

  • Plant-based diets have been shown to be healthier for individuals and have less impact on ecosystems.
  • Sustainable and plant-based agriculture produces more food with fewer resources, which increases food security.
  • Reduced leakage from natural gas systems can save money.
  • Less nitrogen-rich fertilizer run off can reduce water pollution, decrease eutrophication, and increase marine health.

Equity Considerations

  • Many cultural values are attached to certain foods, meaning change to more plant-based diets could require a large societal shift.
  • Policies implemented without care may threaten food security for certain individuals and communities. For example, rice paddies, a large methane contributor, are a main dietary staple for many countries.
  • Local economies and employment can be threatened in communities which currently rely on industrial, large-scale farming practices as their main livelihood.