Leap forward for greenhouse gas research
The Government has announced it is setting up a greenhouse gas
research centre targeting solutions for New Zealand's agriculture and
Speaking in Christchurch today, Agriculture Minister David Carter
said the centre will play a key role in encouraging the agriculture and
horticulture sectors to contribute to New Zealand's emissions reduction
"It is clear that agriculture will be part of New Zealand's emissions
reduction efforts, but the sector must have access to effective and
affordable technology that doesn't compromise productivity," Mr Carter
The centre would be funded through the Primary Growth Partnership,
announced in last week's Budget, and would be run through a host
provider, most likely a Crown Research Institute or university.
"The Centre for Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research will promote
win-win technologies that both reduce emissions, and improve on-farm
efficiency and productivity," Mr Carter says.
"New Zealand's understanding of the drivers of ruminant greenhouse
gas emissions is increasing all the time. Fonterra has just completed a
carbon footprint project which will be invaluable to dairying's efforts
to reduce emissions on-farm and in the manufacturing process.
"This, and an earlier study completed by Kiwifruit marketer ZESPRI
are key to our primary industries better understanding and developing
expertise in their carbon footprint work."
About half of New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions come from
agriculture, with methane from ruminant animals the biggest contributor.
The Centre will up and running by 2010.
Background - Centre for Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research
Centre for Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research will be funded through
the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP), announced in the Budget.
The Centre will be established by next year.
The Centre will focus on GHG mitigation
research related to the pastoral, arable, horticulture, poultry and pig
- methane from ruminant animals and waste systems,
- nitrous oxide from ruminant animals and nitrogen fertiliser, and
- soil carbon from agriculture and horticulture.
Investment will likely be prioritised by the benefit to New Zealand.
It will not include planted forestry, energy, or biofuels.
The Centre will have stable core funding allocated through the PGP based on a 10-year business plan.
It will be 100 percent Government-funded, with no requirement for
industry co-funding, and a commitment to 10 years core-funding, with
reviews. This funding structure is intended to give the sector the
certainty it needs to undertake long-term research projects.
The Centre, in partnership with the sectors, will also be able to
contest further PGP funds, subject to the same criteria and rules of use
as other programme proposals under PGP.
Any further applications will require industry co-funding.
Oversight of the Centre will come from the PGP
Investment Advisory Panel (IAP), the Director-General of Ministry of
Agriculture and Forestry, the Chief Executive of Ministry of Research,
Science & Technology, and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and
The Centre will be run by a host provider, which must:
- be an existing research provider,
- have a significant proportion of the current research investment,
- have the ability to manage large scale programmes,
- work in partnership with local and international providers to bring the best expertise to New Zealand.
The host provider will be required to produce a 10-year business plan
which must be approved by the Director General of MAF, the Chief
Executive of MoRST and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade based
on recommendations from the IAP.
The research carried out or coordinated by the Centre will have strong links internationally.
In addition, New Zealand has proposed the concept of an international
centre for research on agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. The
Centre for Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research would be a key platform
for New Zealand's contribution to such a global effort.
Principles guiding the development of an international centre are
currently being developed by the Government along with funding
The Government is consulting on the initiative with a number of other
countries and further details will be announced in coming months.
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