Stuff/NZPA: New agriculture greenhouse gas research centre

Formally announced in June, much work still needs to be done to ensure that the Centre for Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research will be ready for its official opening in February.

The Centre, to be hosted by Agresearch, will comprise a virtual network of scientists all over New Zealand, and will be dedicated to finding ways to reduce or mitigate New Zealand’s agricultural greenhouse gases.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“AgResearch’s former head of climate and environment, Harry Clark, who is setting up the centre, said today he was working through key issues including what it would do, how it was structured and staffed, and what work it would fund.

“He envisages it developing new knowledge in mitigation of greenhouse gases in pastoral farming, and coordinating research efforts nationally and internationally.

“Industry commentators have said New Zealand needs to create a strong international profile in working to reduce agriculture emissions to avoid trade barriers likely to be erected against meat and dairy produce exported by nations regarded as having set minimal targets for greenhouse gas reduction.

“Agriculture causes nearly half the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions .

“Dr Clark said the centre would move to make sure New Zealand work meshed with research overseas – even though many livestock farms in the northern hemisphere relied more heavily on grain-fed animals, where emissions could be reduced more easily by changing feed.”