17 Aug 2009

Agriculture research group applauds emissions target

8:45 am on 17 August 2009

A consortium set up to explore ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from farms has applauded the Government's emissions reduction target.

The Government has set the target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 10% and 20% from the levels they were in 1990 by 2020, depending on what other countries agree to.

The estimated cost to New Zealanders is $30 a week, mainly through increased power and petrol prices.

Some environmental groups have been pushing for a 40% reduction, but the Government dismissed that target as unrealistic, pointing out that it is much costlier for New Zealand than other countries to reduce emissions because a high proportion is from agriculture.

The head of the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium, Mark Aspin, says the decision is sensible because it is likely that by 2020 there will be enough knowledge to be able to reduce the methane emissions from livestock.