Monday, December 11, 2023

Climate Change: The wrong direction again

In 2019, Aotearoa legislated a methane reduction target of 10% (from 2017 levels) by 2030. Dirty farmers think it is unfair that they should be expected to cut their pollution by a fraction of what the rest of us are doing, and want to do less. Meanwhile, the Food and Agriculture Organisation says they need to do more:

The world's top agriculture body has presented a blueprint for how to get livestock emissions down at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) says cutting methane burped by animals like cows and sheep is "essential to limit the global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius, preferably less than 1.5 degrees Celsius."

The global food body cites research saying methane from cows and sheep must fall 11-30 percent in 2030 off 2010 levels, to keep the planet inside safer heat levels, limiting damage to human health and farming conditions.

The FAO is also clear that herd sizes need to reduce.

The different baselines make it complicated, but jiggling around with emissions tracker shows our 2010 biogenic methane emissions were 32.52 million tons, versus 32.78 in 2017. Meaning our legislated target is over half a million tons worse than the bare minimum of the FAO's range - and 6.7 million tons worse than its upper end. So with the new government primed to grovel to farmers, weaken targets, and give them another free ride, it looks like we will be headed in the wrong direction, again.