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Lincoln supporting Climate Change Bill

Media Release

23 May 2019

- for immediate release

Lincoln supporting Climate Change Bill

Lincoln University Associate Professor Anita Wreford says many of Lincoln’s activities are at the forefront of the push to address climate change.

Dr Wreford recently became the programme lead for the Impacts and Implications Programme in the Deep South National Science Challenge, which aims to support decision-making about climate change adaptation.

This includes developing ways to support sectors, communities, businesses and government to plan for climate change and ensure that industries remain productive, flexible and functioning over time.

“Some of my colleagues at Lincoln are involved in research exploring alternative land uses, through the Our Land and Water National Science Challenge, and the greenhouse gas emissions associated with different types of production,” she said.

“There are also opportunities to generate co-benefits through land-based mitigation if measures are designed carefully. This would include making water quality improvements, as nitrous oxide can be reduced through boosting fertiliser efficiency, which will reduce nitrate leaching.

“Biodiversity and soil erosion through increased tree planting are also co-benefits, and Lincoln is carrying out activities in these areas too.”

Where agriculture is concerned, Dr Wreford pointed out that the sector contributes to almost half of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, so big changes are necessary.

“If agriculture didn’t play its part in the Government’s Climate Change Bill, this would increase the burden elsewhere, especially in New Zealand, where other sectors would have to reduce their emissions by twice as much.

“I think farmers are looking at doing things differently in any case, to meet other objectives including water quality, increasing biodiversity and reducing erosion.”

Dr Wreford said some farmers were already looking at other types of production away from livestock, which would help reduce the sector’s methane emissions.

“In other cases, increases in animal efficiency will help to reduce emissions, although New Zealand production is already very efficient and we have some of the lowest embodied methane in our animal products globally. But there will still be room for productivity improvements, which Lincoln’s activities can help with.”

Ends


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