New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Conference 2017


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FOCUS: How will the agricultural sector contribute to New Zealand's commitments tabled in Paris?

Tuesday 28 March 2017

Palmerston North Convention Centre
354 Main St, Palmerston North, 4410, New Zealand


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 pdf NZ Agricultural GHG Mitigation Conference... (0.56MB)




9:00 AM

9:50 AM

Arrival & registration (Tea & coffee available)

9:50 am

10:00 am

Conference opening by Dr Peter Millard, NZAGRC Chair

10:00 AM

10:20 AM

Mark Sinclair

Agricultural greenhouse gas mitigation: The international context

10:20 AM

10:50 AM

Dr Jan Wright

Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment - understanding New Zealand’s biological greenhouse gases

10:50 AM

11:10 AM

Dr Andy Reisinger

Agricultural emissions: their role in climate change - past, present and future

11:10 AM

11:30 AM

Francesca Eggleton

A Fonterra perspective

11:30 AM

11:50 AM

Sam McIvor

Beef & sheep industry perspectives

11:50 AM

12:10 PM

Dr Stewart Ledgard

Life Cycle Analysis: how does New Zealand agriculture compare internationally?

12:10 PM

12:30 PM

Question & Answers


12:30 PM

2.00 PM


2:00 PM

2:20 PM

Dr Harry Clark

“Realities, magic potions & clairvoyance” – what can we do and where will we be in 2030?

2:20 PM

2:40 PM

Dr Suzi Kerr

The role of land use change

2:40 PM

3:00 PM

Dr Peter Janssen

Progress with New Zealand technologies (methane)

3:00 PM

3:20 PM

Dr Cecile de Klein

Progress with New Zealand technologies (nitrous oxide)

3:20 PM

3:40 PM

Professor Louis Schipper

Can we build and maintain soil carbon in pastures?

3:40 PM

4:10 PM

Question & Answers


4:10 PM

4:20 PM

CONFERENCE SUMMARY & CLOSE (Join us for drinks & nibbles from 4:30 – 6 PM)



REGISTER NOW to be in Palmerston North for an engaging day of presentations from organisations and experts from around New Zealand.




Copthorne Hotel Palmerston North


  • Dr Jan Wright: Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment - understanding New Zealand's biological greenhouse gases

    In 2016 Jan released a report titled Climate change and agriculture: Understanding the biological greenhouse gases, in which she urged New Zealanders to work together and start tackling the complex problem of the biological greenhouse gases from agriculture. She found that, while there are no silver bullets for dealing with these emissions, there are things we can and should be doing now to curb them. Immediate opportunities lie in new native and plantation forests, and Jan wants to see real progress in this area.

    About Jan Wright

    Dr Jan Wright was sworn in as Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment for a five-year term on 5 March 2007 and reappointed for a second term in early 2012. Jan has a Physics degree from Canterbury, a Masters degree in Energy and Resources from Berkeley in California, and a PhD in Public Policy from Harvard. In 2012 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Lincoln University, and in 2015 was made a Companion of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Prior to her current role, Jan worked as an independent policy and economic consultant for many different government agencies and as a member of various Crown Entity Boards.

    Jan views climate change as the most significant environmental threat facing the world, and has produced two major reports on rising sea levels. Other reports have covered topics as diverse as fracking, the pesticide 1080, and the plight of New Zealand's longfin eel.


  • Professor Louis Schipper: Can we build and maintain soil carbon in pastures?

    Small increases or decreases in soil carbon stocks can result in large changes in carbon dioxide of the atmosphere. Maintaining or enhancing soil carbon is also critical for soil health. During the recent Paris meetings on climate change the French Ministry of Agriculture proposed the 4‰ Initiative aimed at increasing soil carbon by 4 parts per thousand to offset emissions from fossil fuels. Changes in land use or management are understood to alter soil carbon stocks but the consequent direction and magnitude of change in carbon are not always obvious. I will summarise what is known about changes in soil carbon stocks for New Zealand pastures and what the opportunity for additional storage might be. Included are long-term changes under drystock and dairy systems and management practices (irrigation, fertiliser inputs and cultivation). Most of the data were summarised in: Schipper, L.A.; Mudge, P.L.; Kirschbaum, M.U.F.; Hedley, C.B.; Golubiewski, N.E.; Smaill, S.J.; Kelliher, F.M. (2017) A review of soil carbon change in grazed New Zealand pastures. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research DOI: 10.1080/00288233.2017.1284134


    Louis Schipper is a Professor at the University of Waikato who investigates soil biogeochemical processes at landscape scales and how they might be manipulated to achieve improved environmental performance while maintaining production. For the last decade, Louis has led teams determining changes in carbon stocks of pasture soils at paddock to national scales. This research demonstrated that while carbon in the majority of pastures on flat land was at steady state, some of our important soils had lost substantial carbon while hill-country soils have gained large amounts. These data have been central to developing a national picture of New Zealand’s carbon budget. They have also used micro-meteorological approaches to evaluate high-resolution fluxes of carbon at farm scales to identify practices that increase carbon stocks, generating in-depth understanding of climatic effects (e.g., drought, rainfall) and management impacts (pasture renewal, cultivation, new pasture species). Louis is an elected fellow of the New Zealand and American soil science societies with multiple awards from the NZ Society. He has published >130 papers (Scopus H-index of 36), supervised ~40 PhD/MSc students, and developed substantial soil and environmental resources for schools.

  • Dr Suzi Kerr: The role of land use change

    Even if livestock agriculture could technically be achieved with extremely low emissions, and currently it cannot, other land uses may be more profitable for New Zealand farmers once the costs of greenhouse gases and excessive nutrient run-off are fully accounted for.  These could be extension of widely used existing land uses - forestry, native regeneration or existing fruit or arable crops - or currently untried or experimental uses.  This talk will briefly review some evidence on the potential for more forests - including in response to the Freshwater Reforms - and then discuss why we might want to go beyond existing alternatives and what would be needed to facilitate more diverse land use.

    About Suzi

    Suzi Kerr is currently a Senior Fellow at Motu, a Principal Investigator in Te Punaha Matatini - a Centre of Research Excellence and an Adjunct Professor at Victoria University. She graduated from Harvard University in 1995 with a PhD in Economics. From 1998 to 2009 she was Director and Senior Fellow at Motu. In 2010 she won the NZIER Economics Award. She has also worked at the University of Maryland at College Park, Resources for the Future (USA), the Joint Center for the Science and Policy of Global Change at MIT, and more recently was a Visiting Professor at Stanford University for the 2009/10 year and at the University of the Andes in Bogotá, Colombia in the first half of 2014.

    Her current research work focuses on climate change. She empirically and theoretically investigates domestic and international climate change policy with special emphasis on emissions pricing and land use in both the tropics and New Zealand. She is Programme Leader for the Impacts and Implications programme of the Deep South National Science Challenge. She has previously worked extensively on economic instruments for managing water quality, fisheries and air quality. She has run four policy dialogue processes, one in the lead up to the establishment of New Zealand’s emissions trading system, others on managing water quality in Lake Rotorua, on agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and (co-led) on New Zealand’s Low Emissions Future, and she is currently leading a dialogue on New Zealand’s ETS. 

  • Dr Harry Clark: "Realities, magic potions & clairvoyance"

    The NZAGRC Director, Dr Harry Clark, will address the conference at 2pm. His talk is titled "Reality, magic potions & clairvoyance". He will cover options that currently exist for farmers to lower their farm emissions while sustaining output, address the on-farm mitigation potential of some of the potential ‘silver bullet' technologies that have been in the headlines recently, and present the work being done to help understand what New Zealand's agricultural greenhouse gas emissions may be in 2030 if new mitigation solutions are developed.

  • Life Cycle Assessment - International comparisons

    Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a tool to account for total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including from energy use and the production of all inputs that go into farm systems, e.g. fertilisers, feeds. It is product focused and can cover a range of stages along a product life cycle including from extraction of raw materials used, through farm and processing stages, to transport, consumer and waste stages. This talk will cover comparison of the carbon footprint (total GHG emissions) of New Zealand milk, lamb and beef products in comparison with those produced overseas. It will focus on studies where valid comparisons are possible using the same methodology. It will also cover current international work on developing internationally-agreed methods through FAO and the European Commission - where New Zealand is playing a key role. Results from recent Product Environmental Footprinting work will be presented, which will include a range of other resource and environmental indicators as well as GHG emissions.

    Stewart Ledgard is a Principal Scientist with AgResearch and an adjunct Professor in Life Cycle Management at Massey University. He has worked with agricultural sector and policy groups in the areas of life cycle management and greenhouse gases for over 10 years, and in nutrient management for over 30 years.

    Stewart has worked with government and agricultural sector groups in determining and reducing the carbon footprint of agricultural products, and has linked research in use of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in agricultural systems in a range of countries internationally. NZ research in this area involved development of methodology for carbon footprinting of dairy, beef, lamb, wool and venison. This methodology was then applied across regional and national farm datasets and used to determine the effectiveness of potential reduction options. International research has included training of researchers and linked research in Australia, Chile, Uruguay, France and the United Kingdom. Stewart is a member of the operations group (representing AgResearch) in the NZ Life Cycle Management Centre, which included co-supervision of a PhD student.

    Stewart led a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) of the Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP) partnership associated with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on developing Guidelines for estimating greenhouse gas emissions from small ruminant supply chains. He is currently co-chairing another LEAP TAG on nutrient accounting and environmental assessment across multiple livestock supply chains.
    Stewart has also worked on nutrient management research, covering work on initial development of the OVERSEER® nutrient budget model, nitrogen mitigation on farms, and on developing and evaluating practical nitrogen mitigation options for farmers. He has also worked with NZ policy groups, including several Regional Councils on approaches for landholders to work within limits on nutrient losses from catchments to meet water quality targets.

    Stewart has been active in publishing his research. This includes 8 book chapters, 116 scientific journal papers, 108 refereed scientific conference papers and over 350 other general publications and client reports.


  • Agricultural emissions: their role in climate change

    More than 130 countries have now ratified the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which seeks to hold the rise in global average temperatures to well below 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

    However, the collective emissions reductions pledged by countries by 2030 are too high to meet these goals cost effectively, and in many instances, the ways in which countries plan to meet their pledges are not clear. This is particularly significant when it comes to agricultural and in particular livestock emissions, where as many as 70 countries signaled an intention to reduce emissions but very few specify ways to achieve this.

    This presentation will review the contribution of agricultural and specifically livestock emissions to global climate change, and the extent to which the ability to meet temperature goals of the Paris Agreement might depend on an effective contribution from agriculture to global mitigation efforts. The presentation will also discuss options, challenges and progress in engaging countries in emission reductions in the livestock sector, and will provide an overview of how upcoming reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and related international initiatives can help clarify the potential for agriculture to contribute to global efforts to address climate change, and ways to increase this contribution while supporting global food security objectives.

    To hear more, register now for the NZ GHG mitigation conference - 28 March 

  • Beef+Lamb NZ presentation confirmed

    The conference programme has been updated to include a presentation from Beef+Lamb New Zealand on the sheep and beef industry perspective on agricultural greenhouse gases, trade conditions and Paris commitments.

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