Providing Methane Digesters to Rural Farming Families in Hainan Province China

Published by Aubrey Holt on


When thinking of greenhouse gas pollution, it is easy to overlook the impact of the agricultural sector, despite the fact it contributed to over 10% of global emissions in 2019. A proportion of which derives from methane emissions released during the fermentation of waste organic material.

The provision of methane digesters to rural farming families on the Chinese Island of Hainan drastically reduces their methane emissions. Previously, manure from farm animals was stored in uncovered pits, resulting in methane being emitted during its fermentation. The introduction of methane digesters rather creates controlled anaerobic digestion, with the organic material submerged in a water-filled chamber, causing microorganisms to break down the material and convert it into usable biogas rather than open-air pollution. This stage of the project reduces 8,060 tonnes of methane per year.

This biogas is then used for household heating and cooking, with the level of biogas produced meeting the thermal demand of each household. This reduces the previous widespread use of coal stoves for cooking and heating. Causing a further emissions reduction of 45,620 tonnes per year. With the combined emissions reduction of both aspects of the project being 53,680 tonnes per year.

Beyond its environmental benefit, the project has also provided economic and social advantages for the population of Hainan, including the creation of local jobs through the building, installation, and maintenance of digestors. Additionally, the project’s provision of biogas reduces household expenditure on coal, supporting improved standards of living for rural farming families.

About the project

This project is certified to the highest level by the Gold Standard.

AdditionalityWithout these biogas digestors, methane would be emitted from organic fermentation. Whilst households would also continue using coal for both cooking and heating.
Emissions reductionA total of 53,680 tonnes of CO2e per year will be removed by the project.
VerificationGold Standard
Contribution to sustainable development (in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals*)3 – Good health and well-being, 12 – Responsible Production and Consumption, 13 – Climate Action
Read more about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. We require that the projects we support meet at least 3 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, of which one is climate action. This means that as well as fighting climate change by offsetting carbon emissions, the projects your money is supporting contribute to sustainable development for ecosystems and communities around the world. 

The impacts and benefits of this project: 

Environmental benefits: 

  • Reduces methane emissions from the fermentation of organic waste.
  • Decreases the use of coal previously used for heating and cooking.

Social benefits:

  • Creating local employment and training opportunities in the construction of methane digestors and biogas systems, their installation and wider follow-up maintenance.
  • Introduce practical and affordable energy technology for rural families, decreasing household expenditure.

Economic benefits: 

  • Reduces indoor pollution from coal burning in open stoves previously used for both heating and cooking, which is a major cause of respiratory issues.

You can read more about how we select our projects here: Behind the scenes: How do we choose our projects?

Your impact

You can see a record of our donation to this project on our public ledger.

Thanks to the contributions of our members, we are reducing carbon emissions for a more sustainable future.

Interested in supporting more projects like this one and offsetting your carbon emissions? Head over to the Treepoints site to calculate your carbon footprint and start offsetting your emissions today.


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