Independent panel to review methane science and targets appointed

The Government is delivering on its promise to commence an independent review of the methane science and targets for consistency with no additional warming from agriculture emissions, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay say.

“An independent panel announced today, will report back to the Government by the end of the year, providing evidence-based advice on what our biogenic methane target should be to ensure no additional warming,” Mr Watts says.

“Cabinet has approved five appointees to the independent Ministerial advisory panel, including its chair, Nicola Shadbolt, who in addition to being a former climate change commissioner is a respected farmer, academic, and director with extensive governance experience.

 “The panel’s members are highly-regarded, climate and atmospheric scientists with extensive domestic and international experience on climate change and biogenic methane.”

Mr McClay says the panel’s report will complement the Climate Change Commission’s review of the 2050 targets this year and will inform the Government’s response to the Commission’s advice in 2025.

“The Government is committed to meeting our climate change obligations without shutting down Kiwi farms. We need to make sure our targets are fair and sustainable,” Mr McClay says.

“New Zealand farmers are some of the world’s most carbon-efficient food producers. It doesn’t make sense to send jobs and production overseas, while less carbon-efficient countries produce the food the world needs.

 To ensure efforts to cut emissions do not drive a drop in our agricultural production the Government is investing more than $400 million over the next four years.

“This will accelerate the availability of tools and technology to reduce on-farm emissions and includes an extra $50.5 million over the next five years to scale up investment in the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre.

“The upcoming consultation on the second emissions reduction plan will also cover plans to support the sector to reduce agricultural emissions in more detail.

“A strong New Zealand’s economy relies on a strong agricultural sector working sustainably towards our climate change goals.”