New Zealand will join a world-leading international research effort to accelerate the development of technologies to reduce methane emissions from livestock, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced.
The International Enteric Fermentation Accelerator will be the world’s largest single research effort to find and accelerate the development and implementation of mitigation technologies for agricultural methane emissions.
O’Connor made the announcement following his attendance at the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate Summit in Washington DC.
“The government is further supporting our farmers and growers to reduce their methane emissions by joining this major international research effort aimed at developing new tools and technology for use on farm,”he said.
“New Zealand will invest $8 million in joining the International Enteric Fermentation Accelerator, which will enable us to leverage the benefits of up to US$200m [$314m] of international investment.
“The project will utilise teams of the best scientists in the world and enable access to research equipment beyond what we can deliver domestically.
“Our investment will ensure New Zealand has a voice in setting priorities for overall funding and help ensure important overseas research is relevant to our pastoral farmers.
“It complements and strengthens the investments we’re making through our Centre for Climate Action on Agricultural Emissions, which includes a 50:50 joint venture with business that has already secured over $170m for new technology over the next four years.
“Growing our record export food and fibre revenue of $53.1 billion will depend on lifting our sustainability credentials and this project ensures we will have access to the world’s best research to do this.
“Our involvement in a global research programme of this scale will elevate New Zealand’s standing on the world stage in climate-smart agriculture and food production.
NZ and Ireland have also announced the expansion of a joint initiative aimed at tackling agricultural emissions.
“Four projects are currently being funded under a New Zealand/Ireland Joint Research Initiative announced in 2022. Today’s commitment will see both countries contribute up to $5.25m each for a second round of research projects,” O’Connor said.
“It’s intended the next round of projects, which will involve collaboration between Irish and New Zealand scientists, will focus on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from organic soils, improving greenhouse gas inventories and developing new tools and techniques for farmers and researchers to understand and mitigate emissions.”
The Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate Summit was organised by the United States and the United Arab Emirates.