The Netherlands is one of Europe's largest per capita emitters of greenhouse gases. The Dutch emit 34 percent more greenhouse gases per capita than the average European with only four EU countries performing worse than the Netherlands in this respect.
Things are even worse in the agricultural sectors in particular in the dairy sector which produces a lot of methane from cows. Since a third of the country lies below sea level, rising waters caused by climate change threaten the densely populated nation resulting in a desperate need for the country's residents to curb their emissions and find more space for farms.
Now, a Dutch couple may have found a solution to these issues in the shape of a floating cow farm. Peter and Minke van Wingerden have conceived of a three-floor cow farm that floats on the water which means it can adjust to rising sea levels and doesn't need to take up any space on land.
"We are on the water, so the farm moves with the tide—we rise and fall up to two meters. So in case of flooding, we can continue to produce," Minke van Wingerden said in a statement.
It's also run very sustainably.
The farm's cows are fed on grapes from a food bank, grain from a local brewery, and grass from local golf courses. They thus forgo the emissions that would have to be created for the production of their food.
Furthermore, the cows' manure is turned into garden pellets reducing methane and their urine is recycled into drinking water. Finally, all the farm's electricity needs are met with solar panels.
"The world is under pressure," Minke van Wingerden added. "We want the farm to be as durable and self-sufficient as possible."
The farm consists of three floors. The cows live on the top floor. Milk is turned into cheese, yogurt, and butter on the second floor. And cheese is matured at the very bottom.
Finally, Minke van Wingerden insists that the cows never get seasick because the farm moves only a little "like a cruise ship."