NFU climate change adviser Ceris Jones hears from the minister of climate change for New Zealand – a country where 50% of emissions come from agriculture...
What music to the ears of the farmers who made it to the COP21 site early on Saturday morning to listen to Tim Groser, Minister of Climate Change for New Zealand.
As agriculture is about 50% of his country’s emissions, NZ has to be on the front foot in the climate debate.
The Kiwis want to see a new model of dealing with emissions from farming. Their minister stressed it wasn’t a case of special pleading, more wanting to have the subject addressed appropriately. This is something that the NFU has long called for. Greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are fundamentally different from those of other production sectors, mostly as a result of complex biological processes necessary for farming.
Minister Groser also talked about the need for scientific and technological solutions. The Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases was launched by NZ in December 2009. Its aims are to bring countries together to find ways to grow more food without growing greenhouse gas emissions. It now has 46 member countries from all regions of the world.
We left the meeting with a spring in our step, better convinced that the world's farmers are on the right track to keep talking to people, keeping their minds open about the possibilities and opportunities in our sector.