What are net emissions?
There are two ways to look at 'net' Methane emissions.
1. The government approach is to use the GWP100 accounting method. This option is widely accepted as having no correlation to warming, however it is the common way to compare CH4 with other GHGs. The Government would consider net zero emissions to be when all GWP100 emissions are offset by CO2 sequestration by trees etc.
2. The other option is actually how CO2 is currently being accounting for. This is the inflow of emissions minus the outflow of emissions and reflects the physical change in the atmosphere and directly relates to warming. Net zero emissions would be a stable inflow over time.
Option 1 will always unfairly treat farmers as the GWP100 has a warming bias for stable (net zero) Methane emissions. Option 2 is more scientifically robust and will open up marketing opportunities for NZ agriculture by allowing us to sell products as warming neutral.
Farmers should consider this when making submissions.