New Zealand is taking action on climate change through this groundbreaking Zero Carbon Bill.
The Bill aims to reduce two types of gasses: the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and biogenic methane produced by livestock and landfills in a specific timeframe.
The bill is set to do the following:
1. Create reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions by
- Reducing green gas house emissions to zero by 2050
- Reduce biogenic methane emissions by 24-47% below 2017 by 2050, including 10 per cent below 2017 by 2030
2. Create emissions budgets as stepping stones towards the long-term targets.
3. Require the Government to develop and implement climate change adaptation and mitigation policies.
4. Put together an independent Climate Change Commission to provide expert advice and monitoring to keep the succeeding governments on track in meeting long-term goals
Agriculture is one of New Zealand’s primary industries, but it has to be part of the solution as well, according to NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
The Bill is a product of thoughtful consultations between New Zealanders, farmers, and scientists.
New Zealand’s Greenhouse gas inventory from 1990-2017 shows that Agriculture accounts for 48.1% of greenhouse gas emissions produced mainly by the dairy cattle, sheep, and beef industry.
Energy emissions from transportation, manufacturing and construction, electricity and other accounts for 40.7% of greenhouse gas emissions.
Farmers will be pleased by the bill’s two-basket approach to separating biogenic methane from other gasses.
The bill allows for a gradual reduction of biogenic methane. It will not result in total zero emissions but is more sustainable and attainable for an agriculture-dependent economy like New Zealand.
Short-term solutions could include determining livestock stocking rates, using fewer animals through selective breeding by choosing sheep and cows that are more productive and profitable, and use of methane vaccines and inhibitors to reduce emissions, according to The Conversation article, “NZ introduces groundbreaking zero carbon bill, including targets for agricultural methane.”
When approved and implemented, the government hopes to benefit New Zealand through better health, less traffic congestion, cleaner air and water, and safer environments for plants and animals. It will also boost New Zealand’s confidence in investing in low emissions technology and lead to the world’s transition.
Read the New Zealand’s Zero Carbon Bill by clicking on the button below: