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UN Report On Methane Is Not Relevant To New Zealand’s Situation

“A UN report calling for big cuts to methane emissions does not mean that the Government’s policy of taxing New Zealand farmers for their livestock methane emissions is warranted.” Robin Grieve of FARM said today.

The report highlights concerns over increases in global methane emissions, mainly from fossil sources, but that is not relevant to the situation in New Zealand where emissions are mostly biological and stable and therefore part of an atmospherically neutral cyclical. Our emissions are not responsible for the global increase in atmospheric methane and neither are they contributing to global temperature increases because stable methane emissions cannot do that. This is because these emissions cause no increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration.

The UN report calls for reductions in methane simply because CO2 emissions are not reducing enough, not because stable biological methane emissions such as we have in New Zealand are causing temperatures to increase. The report maintains reducing methane will offset some of these CO2 emissions and give us more time, but the New Zealand Government must not misconstrue this as meaning farm emissions are causing global warming, because they are not.

The report authors see reducing methane as a cheap way to buy time and allow more CO2 emissions. Plugging leaking gas pipes, flaring methane vents and capturing landfill emissions are all cheap options and may well buy time but that is a completely different matter to knee capping our biggest industry, farming, and crippling it with unjustified taxes especially for dubious causes such as subsidising CO2 emitters.

The New Zealand Climate Commission admits in its draft report that the only reason it calls for cuts in New Zealand methane emissions is to offset CO2 emissions which it says cannot be reduced quickly enough. The Climate Commission also unbelievably calls for farmers to be taxed if they do not subsidise these CO2 emitters by reducing their methane emissions.

Methane emissions in New Zealand are not the problem they may be in other parts of the world and the New Zealand Government must not be distracted by the anti-farming brigade who call for cuts to farming and be cognizant of the science of methane as it applies to New Zealand’s situation.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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