PM opens agricultural greenhouse gas research centre

  • John Key
Agriculture Prime Minister

Prime Minister John Key, together with Agriculture Minister David Carter, today launched a Government-funded centre for agricultural greenhouse gas research, a key part of New Zealand's efforts to find practical ways to curb emissions from agriculture.

Mr Key says the Government's Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre, headquartered in Palmerston North, will link with both national and international partners to lead the way on research into agricultural emissions.

"Feeding the world's growing population, while keeping a lid on emissions to fight climate change, is one of the defining challenges of the early 21st century. New Zealand is well-placed to meet that challenge head-on."

Mr Key says the Government will invest $5 million a year over 10 years in the centre, with funding coming from the Primary Growth Partnership.

In addition to funding the centre, the first meeting of the New Zealand-led Global Research Alliance, which now comprises more than 20 countries, will be held in New Zealand during April.

"Agriculture is our biggest export earner but it also generates nearly half of New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions, so we have everything to gain by putting the might of our agricultural research industry at the forefront of this international initiative," says Mr Key.

"New Zealand is acknowledged world-wide as a leader in agricultural science. Through the centre and the Global Research Alliance, we have the opportunity to pool our expertise with both developed and developing countries in order to find the most credible solutions to this pressing global issue."

"Ultimately, the centre is a key part of this Government's commitment to innovation. It will play a major role in meeting our international obligations and supporting Kiwi farmers and growers to reduce emissions through significant funding of research and innovation programmes."