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Government agrees NZ agriculture is 'probably' warming neutral

Its time for farmers and exporters to support a smart ETS

Its taken a while but James Shaw did conceed at the recent Hamilton Zero Carbon meeting that NZ agriculture is probably warming neutral as of 2018, even if he is reluctant to make a public statement to that effect. The key information is actually buried way down on page 22 of the Submission Discussion Document.

"Reducing long-lived greenhouse gas emissions to zero and stabilising our short-lived gases,
which would mean our domestic emissions would not contribute to any further increase in
global temperatures".
 

On farm trees, particularly those on sheep and beef farms should comfortably offset any warming from N20 and the 'very minor' net Methane. All we need now is an emissions scheme that can prove this and that's why farmers should support a smart ETS. 

The advantages of focusing on warming rather than emissions per se are significant. Not least because this would directly relate this policy to the Paris Agreement which specifically aims to limit further warming. Agriculture's public perception would also improve dramatically when this is clarified, opportunities will open up for marketing and branding our products as warming neutral. This will also allow the industry to compete on a square footing with synthetic protein makers who target agricultural emissions as a reason not to buy natural products. 

The opportunity if there, its now up to farmers and industry leaders if they choose to take it or not.



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