- Date published:
8:32 am, November 24th, 2021 - 14 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, ETS, farming, science, uncategorized - Tags:
While a core of farmers protested a few days ago against farm environmental regulation with long lines of tractors, the organised form of agribusiness, Maori and government working together have concluded that making a climate different isn’t possible.
It has MPI, MFE, deer, bees, dairy, Federated Farmers, Beef and Lamb, irrigation, arable cropping, and many others inside the tent. Its’ steering group has agribusiness leadership plus key corporate Maori and MFE on it, and got key horticulture leads in its membership.
These are the sum total of our key land based players, public and private.
According to the discussion document that they released yesterday:
Initial modelling suggests these prices would lead to reductions in total agricultural emissions of less than 1% reduction in both CH4 and N2O below 2017 levels, additional to reductions as a result of other environmental policies.”
For those familiar with the production of such reports around Wellington, this draft took thousands of collective hours, dozens of consultants, furious drafts pinging back and forth between Ministries, Ministers, and those on the steering committee, before the writer exhaustedly called a halt and said this is it. Or at least had the good political grace to wait until COP26 was out of the media cycle. And the net result of that was … less than 1% change in anything, ever.
As Forest & Bird Climate Advocate Geoff Keey commented:
He Waka Eke Noa had one job: to come up with an emissions reduction plan for agriculture that would cut emissions. They have completely failed. This plan is bad for the climate, bad for the future of farming, and taxpayers are going to have to pick up the tab.”
If there ever was a time, right now is the best time for farmers to be able to make investments that transform their farms for the sake of us all.
Right now because the international milk price is heading towards $9 a kilo of milk solids.
Horticulture is already beyond being a $10 billion industry.
Our beef and lamb prices are remaining at historic highs.
And despite labour shortages and minimum wage increases, demand for our wine keeps growing and growing, and at premium prices.
That, coupled with bank lending being still so low and rural land prices skyrocketing, farmers are on average getting richer this year than ever before.
He Waka Eke Noa essentially says do nothing, expect nothing, and we owe you nothing.
National’s Stuart Smith and Barbara Kuriger congratulate He Waka Eke Noa on their work.
Lest we need reminding, emissions from New Zealand’s massive dairy herd make up 89% of New Zealand’s methane output, which in turn make up 42% of the country’s greenhouse gases.
Our Minister for Climate Change is MIA in MIQ. Maybe he’ll comment later.
He Waka Eke Noa – literally we are all in the same boat – was the essential government-led and farmer+agribusiness+Maori initiative to bring all farming together to make sense of climate change together.
Their draft report shows us that they have all have fed us lies and complacency, while they get rich.
Having scanned through it quickly it's clear that apart from 'on farm sequestration' and a brief mention of 'soil carbon' as a future project – there is nothing on research to reduce methane emission that I could see. Almost all the discussion is on the minutiae of various pricing models.
I'm certain all the very educated consultants involved know this is the only approach that will make a difference – so why the silence? Has the work so far proved unpromising and is being quietly dropped, was it outside the scope of this work, or has it been sidelined for some other reason?
From what I can see this document may well serve exactly it's intended purpose – proof that pricing models on their own are of not much use.
They want methane excluded from the calculations.
Submissions on the bill close this week.
The most useful purpose such documents serve is to get different parties to talk to each other for a bit.
A bit like housing cost omitted from the annual CPI index for wage negotiations.
As far as I am aware none of the research on a reduction in methane from cattle is getting anywhere. Lots of experimental results.
Nothing that looks like it will scale up. I read about various approaches and a decade later there aren't the startup companies to exploit them.
In NZ the cash thrown at the problem has been miniscule over 3 decades, mainly because the farmers haven't been willing to pay for it.
ETS probably won't help much. But at least it will provide a pricing signal and raise the price of products from cattle.
I read about various approaches and a decade later there aren't the startup companies to exploit them
Yes that has been my impression too.
From a total emissions perspective NZ will wind up importing almost all of the technology that will mitigate CO2 – primarily as a result of the rest of the world innovating and implementing it. That and some tweaks to our electricity system and we should stay on track.
But agricultural methane is NZ's unique signature challenge – and the lack of funds directed at it has been a missed opportunity.
"and the lack of funds directed at it has been a missed opportunity "
Maybe in stead of sending ets tax funds off to corrupt countries like Brazil maybe we should keep any carbon tax in house on real would research and solutions!!
A combination of grasses that reduce methane production, breeding stock that has lower emissions and food supplements has already proven methane can be reduced by the levels required to meet our obligations.
More productive cows meaning less cows required to produce more milk.
The farming sector is keeping our economy afloat. Helping us out during tough times that will get worse before it gets better.Let's not dump on farmers but work with them.
Labour Greens will become the target of very well funded opposition.
It's stupid to pick a fight when we could help farmers get to the methane reduction targets and improve water.
A.i robots WILL BE better than humans at anything and everything!
I almost look forward to the day technology completely takes over humans stupidity and selfishness.
Clang! Clang! Clang!
The Robots go …
Bang! Bang! Bang!
and reproduce themselves ….
The humans are d-d,-d-d,-d-d-dead
The earth warms
The earth warms from the fetid cow fart
Brought on her flight by the yellow dew
Drowning a wild feeling in her heart:
A dream of a demon in my view!
Hung with young Hope in the yellow night,
Mimes in thine hour of secrecy
Hold her out with a luminous light,
I kneels before my melancholy.
Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe
COMPOSED IN VERSE BY VERSE
Replace 'fart' with 'burp'.
It's when they regurgitate the cud from the rumen that cattle expel methane.
Yeah I know but the farmers themselves protested against "The fart tax" so I went with that. I only wrote the first line – AI did the rest.