21 Nov 2009

NZ to call global meeting on agriculture emissions

2:28 pm on 21 November 2009

A New Zealand initiative to get international co-operation on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture is set to take off.

Agriculture Minister, David Carter says New Zealand will be convening an international meeting on the Global Alliance next year, following the World Summit for Food Security in Rome this week.

The aim is to get countries working together on research to cut agricultural emissions without harming the world food supply.

The concept gained further ground this week when Mr Carter hosted a round-table discussion of 20 countries including China, Japan, the United States, India, Australia, France and the United Kingdom.

Stephen Goldson of AgResearch, a member of the Prime Minister's science advisory committee, says New Zealand science will achieve more by being part of larger scale international efforts.

If a global alliance can work out how to reduce levels of methane emissions from grass-fed livestock, he says, it would produce a "guilt-free" product, not linked to to grain production nor creating greenhouse gas emissions.

Dr Goldson says this could be a point of market difference for New Zealand.