Agricultural greenhouse gases & the New Zealand policy environment

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1035 Andy Reisinger, NZAGRC Deputy Director (International)

Andy began with a very clear message that the global community needs to take action now in order to limit warming to two degrees.

“If agriculture doesn’t take any effective action, we would have to actively remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere before 2050 to remain within the 2°C limit.”

Taking mitigation from the agricultural sector seriously globally would allow just a little more space for global carbon dioxide emissions and keep the 2 degree goal feasible.

Agriculture has already been reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by farming more efficiently, and if best practice were adopted by all farmers, this could make further significant reductions. More efficient farming also reduces emissions per unit of product, however this alone will not decrease total emissions.

New agricultural technologies can be employed to drop emissions, and Andy indicated that these would be covered in later presentations.

Additionally he noted that demand management will need to play a role in meeting the 2°C goal. Reducing the current volume of global food waste (30-40%) and promoting dietary shifts towards grain from meat could provide potentially large gains. This was covered by Professor Pete Smith.

Download presentation 

  1. pdf 03_Reisinger_1035_NZAGRC2015_template_FINAL.pdf (3.11MB)

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