Methane Targets To Be Independently Reviewed

Published: Sat 6 Apr 2024 12:20 PM
Rebuilding New Zealand’s economy will rely on the valuable agricultural sector working sustainably towards our climate change goals.
Today, the Climate Change and Agriculture Ministers announced that an independent panel of experts will review agricultural biogenic methane science and targets for consistency with no additional warming.
Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says the coalition Government has been clear in the commitment to maintain a split-gas approach to our domestic climate change targets.
“This independent review which will report back to the Government by the end of the year, will provide evidence-based advice on what our domestic 2050 methane target should be, consistent with the principle of no additional warming,” Mr McClay says.
Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says the Terms of Reference for the review, along with appointees to the independent Ministerial advisory panel will be confirmed in the coming months.
“The panel will consist of reputable experts to provide integrity and trust in the process. They will review the latest science on methane’s warming impact and will provide that advice to the Government.
“The independent advisory panel’s review will complement the Climate Change Commission’s review of the 2050 targets this year and will provide an input into the Government’s response to the Commission’s advice in 2025,“ Mr Watts says.
Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says agriculture is the backbone of our economy, contributing over 80 per cent of our goods exports to feed an estimated 40 million people worldwide.
“We need to ensure its contribution to the 2050 Climate Change targets are fair and appropriate compared to other parts of the economy.
“It’s important that domestic efforts to cut emissions do not drive a drop in our agricultural production. New Zealand farmers are the world’s most carbon-efficient producers of high-quality food and fibre, and it is in no one’s interest to see this production filled by other countries with higher emissions profiles,” Mr Hoggard says.
Associate Agriculture Mark Patterson says an investment in innovative technology is the key.
“The coalition Government is investing heavily in research and development to provide farmers tools to reduce methane, not productivity. We want to ensure that our farmers remain the best in the world and at the forefront of global methane mitigation efforts.
“We expect a science-led approach is taken to assessing the targets, with the government and sector working towards practical tools and solutions for our farmers,” Mr Patterson says.
Todd McClay says New Zealand’s trade partners, the international community, and New Zealanders expect the agriculture sector to contribute to New Zealand’s climate change obligations.
“A strong agriculture sector is critical to rebuilding the New Zealand economy. This Government remains steadfast in our commitment to meet our international Climate Change obligations and believes sustainable farming practices supported by sensible methane targets will play a critical role in supporting both our environment and economy,” Mr McClay says.

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