Low carbon cows

(Climate Change News, 10 May 2019) New Zealand introduced its “zero carbon” bill this week, which is… not zero carbon. But it’s getting there.

In what has been widely interpreted as a compromise with the dominant meat and dairy farming sector, it sets twin targets for methane and other greenhouse gases.

Academics Dave Frame and Adrian Macey argue in the NZ Herald this approach is “anything but a free ride to farmers”, though. Methane breaks down much faster than CO2 in the air, so it makes sense to treat it differently, they say.

Ireland, another country with a lot of belching cattle, should take note following its parliament declaring a climate emergency.

European faultlines

In other net-zero news, eight member states are calling for a carbon neutral EU by 2050. Coal-hungry Germany and Poland are not signed up. Nor is Italy, which is competing with the UK to host the 2020 UN climate summit.

Meanwhile in the run-up to European Parliament elections on 23 May, a leftwing coalition has launched a campaign for a “green new deal” (that phrase sure is catchy).

It has 19 politicians signed up so far, led by Greek anti-austerity hero Yanis Varoufakis.

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Climate Change News, 10 May 2019: Low carbon cows