New Zealand is to join the Climate and Clean Air Coalition a new initiative focussed on climate pollutants such as black carbon, and greenhouse gases including HFCs and methane that have potent but short-lived effects on climate, human health and agriculture productivity.
Climate Change Issue Minister Tim Groser says:
“This new group is not a substitute for action on the real climate change problem, carbon dioxide, which remains in the atmosphere for around a hundred years,” says Mr Groser. “But moving quickly to reduce emissions from short lived climate pollutants is part of a coherent strategy to tackle the challenge of climate change.
“The Coalition is focussed on reducing methane emissions from industry which complements work that New Zealand is leading in reducing methane emissions from agriculture. We have been asked to lead an agriculture initiative in the CCAC that will add to our work in the highly successful Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases initiated by New Zealand in 2009.”
Mr Groser says that international action on climate change requires effort on multiple fronts. Work that the CCAC is doing, along with work in the Major Economies Forum, the Global Research Alliance, and the reform or fossil fuel subsidies that New Zealand is coordinating will add value to global agreements negotiated under the UNFCCC.
“New Zealand is active internationally on all these fronts. These efforts demonstrate on-going action on climate mitigation during the transition period to the post-2020 global climate agreement that will be negotiated by 2015.
“We have a long-term and coherent strategy in place and we are on track to deliver what most New Zealanders have voted for – a balanced approach to climate change, playing our part while avoiding imposing excess costs on households and businesses while the Government focuses on jobs and strengthening our recovery,” Mr Groser says.
The CCAC is a United States initiative and the invitation to lead it recognises New Zealand’s strength in agriculture and agricultural research.
Most of our emissions are from livestock so it makes sense to put more effort into research in that area which could not only reduce emissions but increase agricultural productivity.