John Key commits $20 million to help reduce agriculture emissions
Prime Minister John Key has committed $20 million to find a fix for farmers to reduce emissions from agriculture.
Key is in Paris at the UN Climate Change Conference and acknowledged that half of New Zealand's emissions are from agriculture "where there are not yet cost effective ways of reducing emissions".
The $20m over four years is in addition to the initial $45m investment that will go specifically to the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases.
"This world-leading research has the potential to reduce global emissions, particularly in developing countries that have similar emission profiles to New Zealand," Key said.
"The sooner we have technology available, the sooner farmers can start using it to further reduce emissions both in New Zealand and in other countries."
Key spoke at the conference overnight and told attending countries that a "meaningful agreement" needed to be found.
"New Zealand wants a deal that puts the world on a pathway towards limiting global temperature rise to no more than 2 degrees Celsius."
He is also pushing for the removal of fossil fuel subsidies and in Paris delivered a message on behalf of close to 40 nations calling for the removal of the subsidies.
"Countries subsidised fossil fuels to the tune of US$500 billion in 2014. Removing these subsidies frees up money, which would be better spent on low-carbon energy, health or education," he said.
Every country needed to contribute and while New Zealand's emissions were "small on a global scale" the country was still determined to make a "strong contribution", Key said.
"That's why we have set ourselves a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels, by 2030. A significant increase on our current target of five per cent below 1990 emission levels by 2020."
New Zealand has specific challenges given half of our emissions are from agriculture, which is why Key has announced $20m towards research specifically in that area.
For this reason the Government didn't include agriculture in a review of how to best meet a reduced greenhouse gas emissions target after 2020.
Climate Change Issues Minister Tim Groser said considerable investment and research was going into finding technologies to reduce agricultural emissions and while that continued the industry would remain off the table in terms of the country's Emissions Trading Scheme review.
In Paris Key also announced $200m of climate-related support over the next four years, the majority of which will benefit Pacific nations.
This is on top of the $65m New Zealand has already spent over the last three years to secure reliable and clean energy for Pacific nations.