Archive for the ‘Agriculture’ Category

Is 2,750 KT of Credit A Big Issue For New Zealand Agriculture?

December 28, 2008

Andrew D of the Physics Department at the University of Queensland has put much effort into his comments on my earlier post (please read them all).  He concedes that I have a point about the Kyoto rules but reckons I am overstating the case.  According to Andrew (I have asked him to explain this a bit more fully, and he has in his most recent comment) New Zealand’s 24,866 kt of methane emissions are produced from 2,750 kt of stored carbon.  That is carbon that has been absorbed by our pasture, but for which the agriculture sector gets no credit.

Would an 2,750 kt offset be significant for New Zealand agriculture?  I believe that it would, particularly when you remember what our Kyoto obligation is.  Our obligation is to restrict emissions to 1990 levels.

Many thanks Andrew for the effort you have put in on this.

In 1990 New Zealand emitted 22,413 kt of methane (CO2 equivalent).  In 2006 we emitted 24,866 kt of methane.  That is a 2,453 kt increase.  The 2,750 kt of offset that the New Zealand agriculture sector is being denied by the silly Kyoto rules would mean we have no carbon liability.

Looked at another way we need to buy credits to offset our methane liability.  At a cost of NZ$30 per credit x 2,453,000 we are required to buy credits worth $73,590,000 to offset our Kyoto methane liability.  I deem this significant particularly as the tax payer is currently set to meet the cost of any liability coming from agriculture (agriculture is not due to be part of the ETS until 2013).  I would much rather that $74 million was spent on something other than Russian AAUs.