Press Statement: Robin Grieve
Chairman of Pastural farming Climate Research
www.farmcarbon.co.nz

“NZ must lead the way in pushing for change in the way methane emissions are regarded in the Paris climate accord at the UN Climate Action Summit this week.”Robin Grieve Chairman of Pastural farming Climate Research said today

“Globally there is a push for the politicians to listen to the science, and the science of methane has been ignored by politicians who decades ago adopted a carbon accounting system using the carbon dioxide equivalent model which scientists say failed to take in to account the cyclical nature of the methane emissions.

“NZ is one country with an emissions profile that has significant methane emissions compared to our CO2 emissions and which has the standing to influence change in international agreements to reflect the fact that not all carbon emissions are the same and it is not the equivalence unit it was intended to be and is portrayed to be in the Paris agreement.  Carbon emissions are not a useful measure of anything for this reason.

“PM Ardern is likely to be wanting to show we are leading the way by pointing to her proposed carbon zero bill where some carbon emissions will reduce to zero but carbon emissions sourced from methane will only be required to reduce.

“Reducing emissions of methane however is not only unnecessary, it is undesirable because it will only come at the expense of food production, and given the growing population’s need for food there is no morality in that.

“Simply by pursuing policies that abdicate any responsibility to meet the world’s growing food demand, show we have learnt nothing from the inhumanity of the push for biofuel by politicians just a few years ago. Ardern’s methane reduction policies will also increase global emissions because the demand for food will have to be met by less efficient international producers.

“Farmers in NZ have to date been able to increase food output while maintaining methane emissions at a stable rate. That is the best outcome and has been achieved with no regulatory impost.

“It is also all that is needed, with the Ministry for Environment confirming, in its zero carbon consultation discussion document, that stabilizing methane emissions is all that is required to ensure they do not contribute to any further increase in global temperatures.

“NZ through its delegation must push for science to be respected and the methane mistake of the 1990’s, where politicians adopted the farcical carbon equivalence system, be fixed. This can be done with the Paris agreement recognizing that not all carbon emissions require the same reductions as others and more importantly that countries’ reduction targets must not be achieved by reducing the wrong carbon emissions and also not by simply passing the buck to other countries, as NZ intends to do.

“Jacinda Ardern called climate change her generation’s nuclear free moment and her policy response so far is similar in that it relies on other countries to take responsibility. In our nuclear free moment it was for the problem of maintaining peace, this time it is for the problem of feeding the world.

“NZ farmers’ record of increasing production whilst stabilizing methane emissions puts NZ in a great place to show the world what can be done, and our Prime Minister should send the message to the world that it is in the best interests of humanity and the planet that the Paris agreement changes its approach to methane and encourages national reduction targets that encourage what NZ farmers are already doing in NZ.”

A short video explaining why methane is different