‘The Climate Commission’s recommendation to reduce livestock numbers by 15% by 2030 is not sensible, practical or justified’ Robin Grieve, chairman of FARM (Facts About Ruminant Methane) said today.
Reducing livestock numbers will invariably cost New Zealand export income, and mean that less food is grown. With an increasing global population that needs feeding this policy is not only anti human and selfish, it will also cause more global emissions as other countries with less efficient farming systems will have to produce the food New Zealand does not. Such a recommendation by the Commission is as silly as New Zealand reducing emissions by cutting Air New Zealand flights and letting Qantas take up the slack.
Reducing livestock might reduce carbon emissions but the bulk of these carbon emissions are sourced from methane and are not causing the warming the system attributes to them. It is a common mistake for people to assume that the carbon emissions sourced from fossil fuel have the same impact as carbon emissions sourced from ruminant methane but they do not and the Commission should not make that mistake. The Commission by making its recommendation is in fact denying the science that ruminant methane emissions are cyclical and under New Zealand’s stable herd situation are atmospherically neutral and not responsible for increases in global temperature.
The goal of the Paris Agreement was to reduce emissions so as to stop global temperature increasing more than 2 degrees; New Zealand’s ruminant methane emissions reduced to the point they stopped increasing global temperatures years ago, if in fact they ever did have an impact. There is no need to reduce them further.
By reducing livestock numbers all New Zealand will be doing is reducing emissions of methane which do not need to reduce which is supreme virtue signaling and the height of folly.