New Zealand's only large-scale beef feedlot has confirmed a Mycoplasma bovis infection.
“I hope this new work will help promote debate on reducing methane emissions that is grounded firmly in science,” says Upton.
“It shows that holding New Zealand’s methane emissions steady at current levels would not be enough to avoid additional global warming.”
The modelling underpinning the research indicates that if New Zealand wished to ensure that methane from livestock contributed no additional warming beyond current levels, emissions would need to be reduced by at least 10-22% below 2016 levels by 2050, with further reductions by 2100.
This research is being released to inform the current debate about how different greenhouse gases should be treated in the context of the Government’s proposed Zero Carbon Bill.
The Commissioner is not endorsing a specific climate target or approach for reducing livestock methane or other agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, but would like to see an evidence-based debate on how best to approach this important task.
Upton says he plans to release a full report later in the year on biological sources and sinks of greenhouse gases, and how they might be treated in the context of setting climate targets and designing policies.