Thursday, 04 November 2021 14:25

Beef + Lamb New Zealand reacts to Global Methane Pledge

Written by  Staff Reporters
Beef + Lamb New Zealand chief executive Sam McIvor. Beef + Lamb New Zealand chief executive Sam McIvor.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) says it is concerned the Government’s support for the Global Methane Pledge, announced at COP26 this week, does not adequately articulate its focus on methane originating from waste and fossil fuel sources.

The Global Methane Pledge commits countries to working together in order to reduce methane emissions by 30% in order to keep global warming within the 1.5-degree target set by the Paris Accord. This target is for the global community and recognises that some countries will need to make greater cuts to methane emissions than others. It is not a 30% reduction in each country’s emissions.

Sam McIvor, chief executive of B+LNZ says that while B+LNZ acknowledges that at a global level methane needs to reduce, it remains concerned that biogenic methane emissions – emissions from animals – are not clearly treated separately in the conversation.

“Minister Shaw has confirmed that there will be no new methane policies or targets as a result of New Zealand signing up to this pledge – but we need to take the public along on this journey, to ensure they understand why.

“Biogenic methane has been stable or reducing in New Zealand since 2001, and the science in the recent IPCC report makes it clear that the way we currently report on emissions, using GWP100, is inaccurate in terms of methane’s contribution to climate change.

“That’s why we’re asking for the Government to report on warming as well as emissions, to build understanding of the different impact gases are having on climate change – and for the Government to advocate internationally for the use of more appropriate metrics such as GWP*.”

McIvor says farmers are already asked to do more than other sectors to reduce emissions with the current target of 10% methane reduction by 2030 in the Zero Carbon Act.

He says the sector is being asked to ‘cool’ within a couple of years while carbon dioxide keeps adding additional warming.

“While today’s announcement may be necessary and laudable, it doesn’t help with the misconception that agriculture is being ‘let off the hook’ by current reduction targets. We need the Government to better tell our story internationally and to the New Zealand public.”

He says the New Zealand agricultural sector, with Government and Māori are already working on the measurement and management of reductions through the He Waka Eke Noa partnership.

While New Zealand is unique among developed for countries in that a significant proportion of total emissions come from methane, this agricultural methane is different from emissions coming from fossil fuels and has a lesser impact on global warming.

The International Energy Agency estimates that fossil methane from the oil and gas sector can be reduced by 75 percent without any new technology. This is the type of methane that is being targeted by the Pledge.

More like this

What COP26 means for co-op

Fonterra's Amsterdam-based trade strategy and stakeholder affairs manager, Mark Casey, recently attended COP26 - the annual United Nations Convention on Climate in Glasgow. Here are his thoughts on this globally significant event and what it means for the Co-op.

Editorial: Don't COP out!

OPINION: Climate Change Minister James Shaw should gainfully spend his time in MIQ - following his attendance at the recent COP26 in Glasgow - getting his head around how to better promote NZ's world leading split gas approach.

The best job in NZ agriculture!

Newly-appointed chief executive of Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Kit Arkwright, says he has landed the best job in the agriculture sector.

National

Hort heads for new heights

Pretty impressive - that's how Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor describes MPI's latest prediction that horticulture exports will hit the record…

Critical worker shortages

A critical lack of workers in New Zealand is pushing the meat industry to plead with the Government to urgently…

Machinery & Products

Look ma - no hands!

Although this month's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is usually associated with the "geek brigade", global manufacturer John…

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Woof, woof!

OPINION: This old mutt has been pointing out forever just what a dog with fleas - as both a business…

DJ friends?

OPINION: Your canine crusader wants to know just what drugs the politicians and bureaucrats are on in Wellington.

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter