Greenpeace wants to increase global emissions

Greenpeace released:

Greenpeace have welcomed Fonterra’s pledge to substantially reduce climate emissions from agriculture, but say there is a “gaping hole” in the plan.

Today, New Zealand’s largest dairy producer pledged to reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030, with a long term aim to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Greenpeace campaigner, Amanda Larsson, says it’s positive to see Fonterra “finally” acknowledging their significant contribution to climate change.

“Setting targets to reduce their impact is an important first step, however Fonterra still seem to be in denial of the fact that taking action on climate change means reducing the dairy herd,” she says. 

Reducing the dairy herd will lead to an increase in global emissions. The global demand for dairy products will be met by whichever countries can supply them. If you reduce the dairy herd in NZ, then it will merely increase in some other country. And our dairy production tends to have lower greenhouse gas emissions per litre of milk than other countries. So the net impact will be to actually increase global emissions.

“Fonterra are relying on some pretty aspirational and unproven technological fixes to address a major source of their emissions – burping cows,” says Larsson. “There is a rather gaping hole in that plan.”

“We urgently need a dramatic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from livestock. The only way to do that in the time we have available is to reduce the herd.”

The milk giant have indicated they are betting on technological breakthroughs such as methane vaccines and low emissions feeds to cut down the enormous amounts of methane and nitrous oxide emissions produced by cattle.

I’ll make this simple. Reducing the NZ diary herd results in the following:

  • NZ reduces its GG emissions
  • Other countries increase their GG emissions by a greater amount
  • NZ exports less, and has lower national income and jobs
  • Other countries export more

So the net impact of doing what Greenpeace (and the Greens) say is to increase global greenhouse gas emissions and lower NZ’s national income, exports and jobs.

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