Silver Lining to Climate Change Cloud
NZ has the potential to adapt to climate change more effectively than its neighbours, according to the government and global warming experts. Despite being home to just 0.06 per cent of the world’s population, NZ produces 0.2 per cent of global greenhouse gases – nearly half of which is from methane expelled by farm animals. However, because its contribution to climate change comes more from agriculture than the burning of fossil fuels, it would be cheaper for NZ to “make the transition to a future that doesn’t produce emissions” than for most of the world, says Climate Change Minister David Parker. NZ is already leading the world in bio-fuel research, with waste from sewage algae and industrial processes being developed into fuel for cars and aeroplanes. Dairy Farmers of NZ chairman Frank Brenmuhl is equally optimistic about NZ’s ability to adapt and innovate. He believes farmers could switch from producing meat and dairy products to growing tropical fruits such as pineapples and bananas, should temperatures rise significantly.