The government is close to announcing a deal on its contentious climate change legislation, striking a deal over agricultural emissions.
Stuff understands Climate Change Minister James Shaw and NZ First have negotiated a “split gas” target, which would see methane treated differently from other long-lived gases, like carbon.
Farmers are worried about the legislation because agriculture accounts for about half our emissions, mostly methane from belching live stock.
Methane should be treated differently. It doesn’t stay in the atmosphere anywhere near as long as other greenhouse gases.
The atmospheric lifetimes of different greenhouse gases is:
- Tetrafluoromethane 50,000 years
- Hexafluoroethane 10,000 years
- Sulfur hexafluoride 3,200 years
- Nitrogen trifluoride 500 years
- Nitrous oxide 121 years
- CFC-12 100 years
- Carbon dioxide 30 – 95 years (around 20% remains for hundreds of years)
- HCFC-22 12 years
- Methane 12 years