Bill Gates invests £9.7 million in ‘tackling cow farts’ through Aussie startup

Bill Gates invests £9.7 million in ‘tackling cow farts’ through Aussie startup

01/24/2023

Bill Gates' investment firm, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, has just awarded £9.7 million ($12m) to an Australian startup dedicated to fighting a key enemy of climate progress: cow farts.

The startup in question, called Rumin8, is working on a dietary supplement for cows that's designed to stop them burping and farting out methane gas.

Bill Gates has long been an outspoken critic of cow farts, as the methane they produce on huge industrial farms is one of the worst polluters and greenhouse gases.

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The firm has also been backed by Jeff Bezos founder Jeff Bezos and Alibaba cofounder Jack Ma, who are also two of the wealthiest men on the planet.

Livestock on huge farms, including cows, goats and deers, produce a huge amount of methane after eating grass.

Rumin8's idea is to use a supplement synthetically replicated from red seaweed in order to stop the gas.

David Messina, Rumin8's managing director, said: "We have been very pleased with the reception we have received from climate impact funds around the world.

"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."

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Last year, New Zealand's government proposed a tax on farts and urine produced by farm animals. This would see farmers pay tax on agricultural emissions by 2025, which make up an estimated half of New Zealand's greenhouse gases.

Methane can cause 28 to 34 times as much of a greenhouse gas effect as carbon dioxide, making it a major factor behind climate change.

This means eating meat is one of the biggest causes of climate change. But maybe instead of spending millions on cow farts, Bill Gates and his mates could just cut down on the ribeye steaks instead.

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