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NZ Could Cut its Greenhouse Gas Emissions Naturally

Published: Tue 17 Oct 2017 03:18 PM
Study Shows New Zealand Could Cut its Greenhouse Gas Emissions Through Natural Climate Solutions
Washington DC – Nature could cost-effectively[1] deliver over a third (37%) of greenhouse gas emissions reductions required by 2030 to prevent dangerous levels of global warming, according to a new study published today by scientists from global conservation organization The Nature Conservancy and 15 other institutions.[2] This is equivalent to a complete stop on the burning of oil, worldwide.
With government leaders set to attend UN climate talks at the start of November in Germany, the study found that natural climate solutions such as planting more trees, improving soil health, and protecting mangrove and peatlands could reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 11.3 billion tonnes per year by 2030.
New Zealand could cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 12.5% just by deploying three cost-effective natural climate solutions.[3] Full implementation of these three pathways would reduce emissions by 30%.
The findings are expected to bolster government efforts to use better land management as well as renewable energy and electric cars to address climate change.
Christiana Figueres, convener of Mission 2020 and former head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said: “Land use is a key sector where we can both reduce emissions and absorb carbon from the atmosphere. This new study shows how we can massively increase action on land use – in tandem with increased action on energy, transport, finance, industry and infrastructure – to put emissions on their downward trajectory by 2020. Natural climate solutions are vital to ensuring we achieve our ultimate objective of full decarbonisation and can simultaneously boost jobs and protect communities in developed and developing countries.”
Mark Tercek, CEO, The Nature Conservancy, said: “Today our impacts on the land cause a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions. The way we manage the lands in the future could deliver 37% of the solution to climate change. That is huge potential, so if we are serious about climate change, then we are going to have to get serious about investing in nature, as well as in renewable energy and clean transport. We are going to have to increase food and timber production to meet the demand of a growing population, but we know we are going to have to do so in a way that addresses climate change.”
[1] Cost-effective climate solutions are solutions that can be delivered at less than $100 per tonne of CO2e.
[1] Other institutions involved are the Woods Hole Research Center, Ohio State University, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, TerraCarbon LLC, Resources for the Future, University of Aberdeen, Cornell University, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Brazil, Colorado State University, World Resources Institute, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), University of Minnesota, University of Maryland, University of Florida, Wetlands International, University of Vermont. The study was generously funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
[1] Reforestation, legumes in pastures, optimal intensity grazing
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