“The IPCC 2023 Synthesis Report, released today, contains no new science, but rather is a summary of eight years of existing research,” Groundswell NZ spokesperson Bryce McKenzie says.
“Climate change is clearly going to be a big issue for the upcoming election, particularly for young New Zealanders, and it is crucial that as we discuss the environmental impact and mitigation/adaptation measures that we are getting facts right and understanding what all of the jargon and numbers mean.”
“Of the 12% overall global emissions increase mentioned in the report’s summary, the largest rise comes from carbon dioxide as a result of burning fossil fuels and industrial processes, followed by methane. However, this doesn’t distinguish between methane generated from fossil fuels and biogenic methane from ruminant animals in agriculture. This is a critical oversight.
“Understanding the impact of biogenic methane accurately is crucial to our plans to meaningfully mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts. The IPCC itself has stated that the United Nations’ insistence on using the GWP100 (Global Warming Potential) measurement to calculate methane emissions, is overstating its effects by a factor of 3-4.
“Scientists have come up with a more accurate measurement called GWP-star (GWP*), but the United Nations, and even our own Ministry for the Environment, continue to insist on treating biogenic methane (which is after all, a natural cycle) the same as other greenhouse gases, like those caused by fossil fuels and industrial processes.
“Groundswell NZ have been outspoken about the unworkable regulations imposed on farmers and it is doubly as frustrating to see such reluctance from our Government to listen to sound science which would enable us to work together to reduce the burden on farmers while increasing the positive impact on our environment.
“Instead we have an overload of crippling regulations and the proposed Farming Tax which will see a reduction in productivity of more than 25%, meaning many food producers will become uneconomical, causing them to exit the industry. The Government should be very worried about this, as the IPCC Report highlights concerns for global food supply.
“Kiwi farmers are proud of the fact that our agricultural industry is among the most sustainable in the world. We work hard every day to adapt, protect, and improve our practices to look after our environment; the land we love. Imagine what we could achieve if the Government worked with us!”