$45m for Global Research Alliance

New Zealand will contribute $45 million over four years to the Global Research Alliance on agriculture greenhouse gases, Climate Change Issues Minsiter Tim Groser and Agriculture Minsiter David Carter announced.

Ministers from 20 countries last night joined New Zealand to establish the Alliance which brings together public and private researchers.

“New Zealand is pleased to have been able to pull together such a diverse range of countries, including major players like the United States and India, to work together on finding practical solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. 

“This Alliance will be a credible force for ensuring the resources, research capability and international goodwill to reduce farm emissions while ensuring food production meets the demands of a growing world population,” says Mr Groser.

Founding Alliance member countries are Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, and Vietnam.

The Alliance – proposed by Prime Minister John Key at the UN General Assembly in September – has been heavily promoted by NZ ministers as a constructive initiative that brings developed and developing countries together on reducing emissions from livestock, cropping and rice production.

Mr Groser says the commitment is a significant step in boosting the profile of agriculture greenhouse gas research internationally.

“14 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are from agriculture, but for New Zealand and parts of the developing world, that figure is much higher. There is an urgent need to develop technologies and practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration in agriculture while enhancing food security,” says Mr Groser.

Agriculture Minister David Carter says the Government is confident the Global Research Alliance will help the world’s food producers keep their emissions to the minimum possible, and play an important role in overall global mitigation efforts.

“The Alliance is one of a suite of measures the Government is working on to address agriculture emissions, including the domestic Centre for Agriculture Greenhouse Gas Research, based at AgResearch, and the amended Emissions Trading Scheme passed last month.

“Other efforts include greenhouse gas footprint projects for primary producers and trials of carbon sequestration techniques such as biochar.

“The culmination of these measures will be a big step towards assisting New Zealand farmers to meet their climate change obligations,” Mr Carter says.

Global Research Alliance members will meet early in 2010 in New Zealand to establish working groups, and discuss priority setting and opportunities for encouraging participation.

Regardless of the motivation, international co-operation on agricultural research is a positive move.

3 Responses to $45m for Global Research Alliance

  1. Andrei says:

    Just more money down the toilet – and the result of this initiative will be papers that “show” agricultural emissions are are worse than we thought which will keep this gravy train going and some third rate scientists employed.

    No wonder kids don’t want to go into science anymore – if you want to spend your life producing BS there are more interesting ways of going about it.

    Like

  2. erichjk says:

    Tip of the hat to NZ.
    Al Gore is now focused on Building Soil Carbon. Now I stand square behind him!

    All political persuasions agree, building soil carbon is GOOD.
    To Hard bitten Farmers, wary of carbon regulations that only increase their costs, Building soil carbon is a savory bone, to do well while doing good.

    Biochar provides the tool powerful enough to cover Farming’s carbon foot print while lowering cost simultaneously.

    Agriculture allowed our cultural accent and Agriculture will now prevent our descent.

    Wise Land management; Organic farming and afforestation can build back our soil carbon,

    Biochar allows the soil food web to build much more recalcitrant organic carbon, ( living biomass & Glomalins) in addition to the carbon in the biochar.

    Biochar, the modern version of an ancient Amazonian agricultural practice called Terra Preta (black earth, TP), is gaining widespread credibility as a way to address world hunger, climate change, rural poverty, deforestation, and energy shortages… SIMULTANEOUSLY!
    Modern Pyrolysis of biomass is a process for Carbon Negative Bio fuels, massive Carbon sequestration, 80%-90% Lower Methane & N2O soil emissions, and 2X Fertility Too.
    Every 1 ton of Biomass yields 1/3 ton Charcoal for soil Sequestration (= to 1 Ton CO2e) + Bio-Gas & Bio-oil fuels = to 1MWh exported electricity, so is a totally virtuous, carbon negative energy cycle.

    Biochar viewed as soil Infrastructure; The old saw;
    “Feed the Soil Not the Plants” becomes;
    “Feed, Cloth and House the Soil, utilities included !”.
    Free Carbon Condominiums with carboxyl group fats in the pantry and hydroxyl alcohol in the mini bar.
    Build it and the Wee-Beasties will come.
    Microbes like to sit down when they eat.
    By setting this table we expand husbandry to whole new orders & Kingdoms of life.

    Another significant aspect of bichar is removal of BC aerosols by low cost ($3) Biomass cook stoves that produce char but no respiratory disease emissions. At Scale, replacing “Three Stone” stoves the health benefits would equal eradication of Malaria.
    http://terrapretapot.org/ and village level systems http://biocharfund.org/
    The Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF).recently funded The Biochar Fund $300K for these systems citing these priorities;
    (1) Hunger amongst the world’s poorest people, the subsistence farmers of Sub-Saharan Africa,
    (2) Deforestation resulting from a reliance on slash-and-burn farming,
    (3) Energy poverty and a lack of access to clean, renewable energy, and
    (4) Climate change.

    The Biochar Fund :
    Exceptional results from biochar experiment in Cameroon
    The broad smiles of 1500 subsistence farmers say it all ( that , and the size of the Biochar corn root balls )
    http://biocharfund.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=55&Itemid=75

    Mark my words; Given the potential for Laurens Rademaker’s programs to grow exponentially, only a short time lies between This man’s nomination for a Noble Prize.

    This authoritative PNAS article should cause the recent Royal Society Report to rethink their criticism of Biochar systems of Soil carbon sequestration;

    Reducing abrupt climate change risk using
    the Montreal Protocol and other regulatory
    actions to complement cuts in CO2 emissions
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/10/09/0902568106.full.pdf+html

    There are dozens soil researchers on the subject now at USDA-ARS.
    and many studies at The up coming ASA-CSSA-SSSA joint meeting;
    http://a-c-s.confex.com/crops/2009am/webprogram/Session5675.html

    Research:
    The future of biochar – Project Rainbow Bee Eater
    http://www.sciencealert.com.au/features/20090211-20142.html

    Japan Biochar Association ;
    http://www.geocities.jp/yasizato/pioneer.htm

    UK Biochar Research Centre
    http://www.geos.ed.ac.uk/sccs/biochar/

    Carbon to the Soil, the only ubiquitous and economic place to put it.
    Cheers,
    Erich

    Like

  3. Cows are good for the planet.
    Aussie environmentalist Tim Flannery says so.
    Check out my place or Tim Blair for details.

    Like

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