New Zealand targets agricultural emissions in climate change bill

(Reuters News, 8 May 2019) The country's main agriculture lobby group says a methane emissions target will hurt the sector and do little to help the climate.

New Zealand's government will introduce legislation to tackle climate change on Wednesday which includes a target for cutting methane emissions from livestock by at least 10 percent by 2030.

The agriculture sector slammed the bill as a threat to one of the largest contributors to New Zealand's economy, though environmentalists say it is also a major polluter.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who has set a goal for the country to be carbon neutral by 2025, said on Wednesday the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill is a "landmark action" on climate change.

The bill treats methane emissions from animals differently than other greenhouse gas emissions, but still targets a 10 percent reduction in biological methane by 2030, and a reduction of up to 47 percent by 2050.

Carbon emissions would be reduced to net zero by 2050, according to the legislation.

"We've built a practical consensus across government that creates a plan for the next 30 years, which provides the certainty industries need to get in front of this challenge," Ardern said in a statement.

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Reuters News, 8 May 2019: New Zealand targets agricultural emissions in climate change bill