Monday, October 11, 2021

Climate Change: Not doing our bit

Last month the US and EU announced they would push an agreement to cut methane emissions by 30% (from 2020 levels) by 2030 at the upcoming climate change conference in Glasgow. The good news is that New Zealand is looking at joining it. The bad news is that that won't actually result in any emissions cuts:

New Zealand is “actively considering” joining other countries in a pledge to reduce methane emissions by 30 per cent by 2030 – despite intending cuts of only 10-12 per cent at this point.

Countries are allowed to join the pledge even if they don’t plan on meeting the 30 per cent target themselves, because the goal is collective, not individual, the European Commission has confirmed.

So we're going to sign up for the PR, but let other countries do the heavy lifting, while claiming we're special and shouldn't have to. It's thirty years of climate change policy in miniature. But with the world getting hotter and hotter, we need more than excuses. Given methane's massively disproportionate impact on heating - 84 times more powerful than carbon dioxide over twenty years, and 110 time more powerful over ten - the best way to stop temperatures from rising and the planet from burning is to cut it as deeply and as quickly as possible. And that means cutting cows.