Content supplied by Federated Farmers
Federated Farmers welcomes the successful conclusion of the Paris Agreement on climate change, which for the first time includes developing countries. The agreement also prioritises food security and food production, recognising the dual challenges of controlling global temperatures and feeding a growing population.
Federated Farmers, through National President Dr William Rolleston, who attended the talks in the first week, worked with the World Farmers Organisation and the New Zealand delegation at the Paris talks to ensure agricultural countries were considered in the negotiations.
“It was significant how New Zealand’s position was taken up by many of the agriculture dominant countries. The New Zealand delegation deserves significant credit for this outcome,” he says.
“Including food security as a priority, as well as flexibility in implementation and the provision of assistance to developing countries, was instrumental in getting developing countries on board and the key to a comprehensive deal which sets all countries on the same journey.”
The Paris Agreement is a high level agreement but provides scope to consider various technical responses. Something that Federated Farmers believes will have a profound effect on the responses expected of New Zealand is the role and value of biological methane in mitigating climate change, which has been keenly debated recently.
Federated Farmers Climate Change Spokesperson Anders Crofoot adds: Methane breaks down in a much shorter timeframe than carbon dioxide so, while it is considered the more potent of these two greenhouse gasses, it doesn’t accumulate as rapidly and that’s something that has to be considered.”
“The Paris talks will provide new momentum to discussions around this, but they also recognise the vital importance of food security and the role agriculture plays in feeding a growing global population.”
“It’s important to remember that New Zealand farmers are already among the most carbon efficient animal protein producers in the world, and have been reducing the carbon footprint of our products by 1.2% per year every year for the past two decades. Ongoing improvements in productivity, as well as the investment we have made into research through the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium and the Global Research Alliance, will continue to show that we are playing our part in this global challenge,” says Mr Crofoot.