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John Key, David Carter, Tim Groser

23 September, 2009

NZ pushes for Global Alliance on agricultural emissions

Prime Minister John Key says the New Zealand Government is pushing for a Global Alliance to research how to cut world-wide greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.


Mr Key has been participating with other world leaders at the United Nations Secretary-General's Climate Change Summit in New York today.


"To feed the world's growing population, we must find ways to produce more food without growing emissions," says Mr Key.


"It will be agriculture that will have to meet the expected dramatic increase in global food demand over the coming decades, but this presents the world with the twin challenge of ensuring food security while reducing emissions.


"To meet this challenge, there is an urgent need for more international research and investment into new technologies and practices to help reduce agriculture-related emissions, and for greater co-ordination of existing efforts.


"New Zealand considers a Global Alliance on agricultural greenhouse gas mitigation research could meet this need and welcomes partners in this initiative.


"The Government has appointed a former Minister for the Environment and Science & Technology, Simon Upton, as a special envoy to help engage with other countries on the concept," says Mr Key. 


Agriculture Minister David Carter says New Zealand is already well-positioned to make a significant contribution to a Global Alliance.


"Our unique profile for a developed country, with almost half of all emissions coming from agriculture, has given us a firm foothold in understanding pastoral livestock emissions.


"Through a Global Alliance, we can find solutions faster, make better use of the money that is being spent around the world and encourage other countries and companies to do more," says Mr Carter.


Associate Minister for Climate Change Issues Tim Groser, also in New York for the summit, is building support for the Global Alliance proposal at a series of high-level meetings with other climate change ministers and negotiators.


"We are already talking with developed and developing countries with significant agricultural production and/or agricultural research programmes about this.


"Food security is an issue of paramount importance, especially for developing countries, and must not be compromised.  


"My meetings in New York are a valuable opportunity to continue to test interest in a Global Alliance and to forge a path to action," says Mr Groser.


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