Climate Camp Aotearoa Protests Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases
Te Papa – Museum of New Zealand, Wellington: 7th April 2010
Camp for Climate Action Wellington raised their objections to the Global Research Alliance (GRA) outside its inaugural meeting in Wellington on the 7th of April. The group carried out a colourful demonstration outside Te Papa which was covered by national print and news media.
The GRA is an outcome of the Copenhagen talks last December. Its stated aim is to reduce the emission intensity of agriculture by sharing research and resources between the 29 countries currently signed up. Globally, the agriculture sector is responsible for up to a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, while in New Zealand the agricultural sector contributes 48% of national emissions.
Government officials have announced that the GRA has agreed on a work plan for the next year. New Zealand will be leading on livestock research group, Japan on rice paddy management and the US on crop management. The GRA will finalise a draft chapter at a ministerial summit to be held next year.
“Although the GRA has been silent on any concrete outcomes of this meeting, it’s likely that the GRA process will result in technological quick fixes, GE and encouraging the inclusion of dodgy carbon offsets from agriculture” said Camp for Climate Action Wellington spokeswoman Jessie Dennis.
“The promotion of these false ‘solutions’ is a continuation of the UNFCCC process, which to date has bowed down to governments and big business interests. We need system change, not climate change.”
“New Zealand is keen to portray itself as a leader in reducing agricultural emissions. In reality the GRA will be encouraging developing countries to adopt intensive agricultural models, trade liberalization and the globalization of the food economy for the profit of the few. The GRA is a real global risk to small-scale sustainable farms and to the livelihoods of the 2.6 billion people who rely on agriculture for their income.
“Instead, Camp for Climate Action Aotearoa calls for real solutions which tackle the root causes of climate change. We need small scale localized agriculture, food sovereignty, to leave our fossil fuels in the ground and to respect indigenous peoples’ rights. In order to solve the climate crisis we must radically change our food systems, not promote intensive, industrial agriculture. Industrial agriculture is a cause of climate change, not a solution!”
While New Zealand Prime Minister John Key was giving a keynote address,Camp for Climate Action Wellington members held up a large banner outside the meeting venue. Leaflets were distributed explaining the objections to the GRA and a spokesperson was interviewed by national television media.
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