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Agreement signed on ag. greenhouse gas research

Thursday, 05 February 2004 Media Statement

Agreement signed on agricultural greenhouse gas research

The Government and agricultural sector groups have signed a partnership agreement on research into agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.

The Memorandum of Understanding is underpinned by an industry-led research strategy, which aims to develop safe, cost-effective greenhouse gas abatement technologies that will seek to reduce methane and nitrous oxide emissions from livestock by at least 20 percent by 2012.

Consistent with its climate change policy, the Government will bear the cost under the Kyoto Protocol of the agricultural sector's non-carbon dioxide emissions. It will also maintain at least its current level of investment in agricultural greenhouse gas abatement research.

In return the sector will undertake and fund its research strategy, coordinated by the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium. The research will seek to identify, establish and develop practical on-farm technologies for reducing emissions, with particular emphasis on technologies that will also improve productivity.

Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton and the Convenor of the Ministerial Group on Climate Change, Pete Hodgson, who signed the partnership agreement on behalf of the Government, said they were pleased with the industry's commitment to a comprehensive self-funded research programme.

“It is very important that this research is done, as non-carbon dioxide emissions from pastoral agriculture make up more than half of New Zealand's total emissions. The Government is covering the cost of those emissions because of the current absence of economic ways to reduce them and the importance of agriculture to our economy. However the long-term interests of the sector and the nation require a thorough and sustained search for practical ways to reduce emissions from pastoral farming."

The agricultural sector parties to the partnership agreement are the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium, Fonterra, Dairy InSight, DEEResearch, Meat New Zealand, the New Zealand Fertiliser Manufacturers Association and Wrightson. AgResearch is a member and science provider to the consortium.


ENDS

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