Thursday, June 17, 2021
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New UN Climate Report Shows Cutting Methane Crucial For Climate And Health – Greenpeace



Greenpeace is today urging the Government to heed United
Nations’ advice to rapidly cut climate pollution from
methane through lowering cow stocking rates and cutting
synthetic nitrogen fertiliser.

The
report
, produced by the United Nations Environment
Programme and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, declares
that cutting methane emissions is even more important than
previously thought, and that that rapid action to cut
methane emissions could limit climate damage.

The
dairy industry contributes the bulk of New Zealand’s methane
emissions, due to 6.5 million dairy cows – a number that has
doubled in the past 30 years.

In 2020, global methane
emissions from several sources, including cattle, rose a
record amount despite widespread Covid-19 lockdowns. The
report is clear that failure to cut methane emissions would
see the world overshooting global heating limits.

The
resulting climate catastrophe could mean billions of people
suffering more unpredictable extreme weather, water
scarcity, heat-related illnesses and more.

Greenpeace
Aotearoa senior campaigner Steve Abel says the report drives
home the fact that if New Zealand is serious about tackling
the climate crisis, the Government must act now to cut
methane from intensive dairying.

“New Zealand’s most
polluting industry – dairy – has lobbied hard for
exemptions, special treatment and voluntary regulation, and
argued against the science which shows that methane has a
global heating power 80 times greater than carbon dioxide
over 20 years,” says Abel.

“This report is yet another
challenge to the Government, whose softly-softly approach to
regulating the dairy industry is solidifying a climate
crisis future where droughts, floods and fires are the
norm.”

Greenpeace is calling on the Government to
bring in solid regulation to lower cow stocking rates, cut
synthetic nitrogen fertiliser – a key driver of intensive
dairying – and phase-out the use of imported feed, such as
palm kernel expeller.

“We know the next few years are
crucial in terms of acting on the climate crisis. The
Government must cut methane emissions by limiting cow
stocking rates, cutting the things that enable intensive
dairying – such as synthetic nitrogen fertiliser – and
supporting farmers to shift to regenerative organic
farming,” says Abel.

“There are already farmers out
there working with nature to create thriving farms that
don’t harm the climate. With some clear-sighted Government
ambition, we can make farming part of the solution for
tackling the climate crisis and restoring
nature.”

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