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Global Research Alliance meeting welcomed

7 April 2010

The Global Research Alliance is a positive example of how New Zealand should go about tackling carbon emissions, the Greenhouse Policy Coalition’s new Executive Director, David Venables, said today.

The Alliance, which was formed last year to find ways of producing more food with fewer emissions, holds its inaugural meeting in Wellington today. “The Alliance is all about New Zealand focusing on what it does best and most efficiently. It’s also about New Zealand showing leadership in an area where it can make a difference – agricultural research,” Mr Venables said.

“We know that global emissions of carbon need to fall. However, in reducing emissions, New Zealand faces significant abatement costs because of the absence of low hanging carbon fruit and we already have a very high level of renewable electricity generation. It’s hard for us to cut agricultural emissions because farming is crucial to our economy and the world has to eat.

“Focusing on each country trying to slash gross emissions doesn’t make sense. We know there are political reasons why this is being done, but it’s a blunt instrument that will hurt some nations more than others. Countries should get credit for contributing to best practice carbon efficiency in key emissions sectors like agriculture.

“The Alliance is one of the few good things to come out of the Copenhagen talks and might represent a better way of solving climate change problems. The over-hyped, everyone-in-the-room, let’s-talk-about-everything-at-once scenario was a disaster waiting to happen. Smaller meetings on a regional basis or focused on particular categories of emissions, like the Alliance, we believe will be more productive.”

For further information, contact:

David Venables, Executive Director, 04 473 0600 or 027 848 2368


[Biographical note: David Venables is a former Communications Manager for the Ministry for the Environment and for the Environmental Risk Management Authority. He is also a former Radio New Zealand journalist.]

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