National supports Government partnership with industry to tackle agricultural emissions

A memorandum of understanding between the Government and agribusiness leaders as part of the establishment of the Centre for Climate Action on Agricultural Emissions – involving am investment of $172 million from all parties to the agreement – was announced by the Government early this week.

This was quickly supported by the National Party .

“The Government needs to work constructively with our farmers to enable them to continue to lead the world in lowering agricultural emissions,” National’s Agriculture spokesperson Barbara Kuriger said. 

“Science and technology will play a big part in that, so government funding should be directed towards progressing innovative developments in this space.” Continue reading

How CH4 Global is turning seaweed into fodder for farm ruminants – and hopes to cool the climate

        • THIS POST was originally published earlier today on Point of Order.

Big  strides  are  being  made in the  development  of  a  seaweed-based   product  which,  it  is  claimed,  reduces  methane  emissions in ruminant animals  by up  to 90%.

The product, which its champions say could resolve New Zealand’s climate change threat  from  methane emissions  in  the nation’s  dairy  herd, has  been sold  for  the  first  time—-to  an  Australian customer.

It has been made by CH4 Global™, Inc., a company which says it is

”… on an urgent mission to address climate change by providing our seaweed-based Asparagopsis products to farmers worldwide so they can dramatically reduce the methane emissions of their livestock and realize significant value in the process.”

CH4 Global has its global headquarters in Henderson, Nevada, in the United States, and operations in Australia (CH4 Australia PTY Limited) and New Zealand (CH4 Aotearoa Limited).

It is rapidly developing a diverse partner network of Asparagopsis growers, while supporting farmers and fostering sustainable communities. Continue reading

State of Science webinar: Progress towards low methane dairy sires

The New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre is alerting researchers and other interested parties to another State of Science webinar, from 1pm-2pm Monday on 22 August.

Dr Lorna McNaughton, from Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC), will provide an update on the progress in developing a breeding programme for low-emitting dairy cattle.

This work began in 2021 when LIC and CRV started measuring methane emissions and feed intake in their progeny test bulls.

Lorna will outline the three-year programme, including sharing results from the first year. Future research and possible implementation plans will also be discussed.

During the webinar, participants will have the opportunity to ask the presenters questions using Zoom’s chat function.

Lorna will use the final 15 minutes of the session to answer as many questions as possible. The Chair will ask questions on participants’ behalf.

The webinar is relevant to researchers, farmers, rural professionals, policy advisors and anyone else involved or interested in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from New Zealand’s primary sector.

Registration can be done HERE

More information is available by contacting enquiry@nzagrc.org.nz.

The NZAGRC is funded by the Government to invest in and coordinate research aimed at helping reduce New Zealand’s agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.

This work is undertaken collaboratively by research providers and targets cost-effective practices and technologies for reducing emissions in New Zealand’s unique farm systems and environments.

Source:  NZAGRC

Forestry and carbon credits: farm leaders press for clear plan to address climate impacts

The Government announced early in March that new proposals to better manage carbon farming could result in future permanent plantings of exotic forests – such as radiata pine – being excluded from the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

Forestry Minister Stuart Nash and Climate Change Minister James Shaw at that time released a public discussion document to prompt feedback on ideas to better manage afforestation.

The Government wanted to encourage afforestation to help meet the country’s climate change targets, offset carbon emissions, and help farmers, landowners and investors diversify their income streams, Stuart Nash said.

From 2023, under current rules, a new permanent forest category of the ETS would allow both exotic and indigenous forests to be registered in the ETS and earn New Zealand Units (NZU).

Under the new proposal, exotic species would be excluded from the permanent forest category. Continue reading

New advice from commission on ETS unit limits and price control settings

The Climate Change Commission’s first advice on updating the Emissions Trading Scheme unit limits and price control settings for the next five years was released today, triggering the posting of expert comments from the Science Media Council.

The advice on updating NZ ETS settings will now be delivered annually to the Minister by the Commission.

Under the ETS, businesses that emit carbon must surrender a carbon credit – or unit – for every tonne of pollution they emit.

Commission Chair Rod Carr said confidence in the stability and predictability of the scheme was key to making it effective.

“It needs to be kept up-to-date, so that it aligns with the country’s emissions reductions targets,” Dr Carr says.

“Aligning NZ ETS settings up with our emissions reduction targets will make it easier and cheaper to achieve those goals, and guide us towards a thriving, low emissions, climate resilient economy.”

Compared to current settings, the Commission recommends: Continue reading

Research proposals invited to measure NZ’s agricultural greenhouse gas emissions

The annual funding round for the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI’s) Greenhouse Gas Inventory Research fund opens tomorrow, with $2.1 million on offer.

In Budget 2022 the Government committed $339 million through the Climate Emergency Response Fund to accelerate development and uptake of high-impact agricultural mitigation technologies.

Of this, $1.5 million was added to the Greenhouse Gas Inventory Research fund for 2022/23, taking available funding to $2.1 million for new projects over the next 12 months

“We’re seeking research proposals to maintain and improve our agriculture, forestry and land-use inventory,” says Steve Penno, MPI’s director of investment programmes.  Continue reading

Government welcomes Climate Change Commission advice on agricultural pricing system

The Government has welcomed advice from the Climate Change Commission assessing readiness in the agricultural sector for an emissions pricing system while the Science Media Centre has been collecting expert advice on the commission’s report.

This is the second piece of advice from the Climate Change Commission on agricultural emissions pricing, following its report in May on potential assistance to farmers and growers participating in a pricing scheme.

The report released today contains the commission’s advice on the He Waka Eke Noa (HWEN) plan put forward by a farm-sector partnership on how agricultural emissions should be priced instead of using the Emissions Trading Scheme. Continue reading

Robyn Dynes on the HWEN partnership’s recommendations

The He Waka Eke Noa partnership this week released its recommendations to Government on pricing of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. You can read about it here.   AgResearch’s Robyn Dynes provided commentary on the recommended approach from her perspective as a senior scientist who works closely with the primary industries.  She writes:   

As a food-exporting nation, it is critical for the New Zealand primary sector to be taking concrete steps to reduce its agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. This proposed levy and approach recommended by He Waka Eke Noa (HWEN) provides a means to reduce emissions and support sustainable food production.

This recommended pricing approach is part of a larger ongoing effort and investment over the last two decades by farmers, iwi, government and scientists to find solutions to help meet New Zealand’s targets for reducing agriculture’s contribution to climate change. Continue reading

Farm-sector partners release their agriculture emissions pricing recommendations

The He Waka Eke Noa Primary Sector Climate Action Partnership – which includes Beef and Lamb NZ, the Meat Industry Association, Dairy NZ and other agriculture and Māori farming organisations – today released its recommendations to the Government on an agricultural emissions pricing system as an alternative to the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

The partnership has recommended the introduction of a farm-level levy system from 2025 with separate prices for short and long-lived gases, and a shared governance approach to recommending levy rates

The Government will decide whether it will accept this recommendation.

Besides recommending the farm-level levy system which recognises what individual farmers are doing on their farms,  the report recommends: – Continue reading

B+LNZ says it’s time for farmers to know their GHG numbers

Farmers from Southland to the Far North are taking part in workshops to know their greenhouse gas (GHG) numbers and create action plans. Meat processors are teaming up with Beef and Lamb NZ to deliver many of these workshops.

Under He Waka Eke Noa, the primary sector’s climate change commitment to measure, manage and reduce GHG emissions, farmers will need to know their farm’s annual GHG numbers by December.

By January 2025, they will need to have a written plan in place for measuring and managing their emissions.

The B+LNZ workshops are being hosted in partnership with Silver Fern Farms and Greenlea Premier Meats. Continue reading