Overnight at the COP26 climate summit, the United States and European Union announced a global partnership to cut emissions of methane by 2030.
New Zealand is one of more than 100 countries that have signed up to the Global Methane Pledge, which aims to limit methane emissions by 30% compared to 2020.
SAFE CEO Debra Ashton said New Zealand now has a responsibility to move away from animal agriculture, to protect the environment as well as animals.
“New Zealand needs to challenge this idea that things like methane inhibitors will solve our environmental woes,” said Ashton.
“We can’t rely on unproven technology and band aid solutions to meet our international climate obligations. We have to start investing in pathways that allow farmers to transition away from animal agriculture.”
Emissions from agriculture make up 48 per cent of our greenhouse gas emissions, mostly from the dairy sector, sheep and beef cattle. While methane is a short-lived greenhouse gas, it is potent, with a warming potential more than 28 times that of carbon dioxide.
“The dairy industry has had a detrimental environmental impact in places like Canterbury and Southland. Yet it’s those same regions that are perfect for growing grains.”
“The Government needs to invest in infrastructure that can process these crops into climate friendly plant-based products. Start-ups like Boring Oat Milk are already leading the way in this area.”
“It’s time for New Zealand to become a global leader in this space, or risk being left behind.”