Ag organisations petition for reform of “inaccurate” greenhouse gas emission calculators

Multiple UK agricultural organisations have joined forces to demand that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) change “inaccurate” greenhouse gas emissions calculators.
calendar icon 6 March 2020
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The National Farmers Union and Country Land and Business Association, among other groups, have issued a joint statement urging the IPCC panel to evaluate the more accurate global warming potential (GWP) metric of GWP* or GWP-we to measure the contribution of short-lived greenhouse gasses to global warming.

The call comes after studies from Oxford University found that the current accounting method used in farming and other economic sectors, known as GWP100, was found to overestimate the impact of methane “four-fold”.

Speaking at NFU Conference (February 25), Prof Myles Allen of Oxford University said: “The standard method multiplies methane emissions by 28 to give your Co2 equivalent emissions.

“This is a complete misnomer because it does not have an equivalent impact on global temperature.”
In the joint statement, members of the coalition warned that the use of inaccurate metrics could contribute to, “poor policy decisions”, which would not address the difference between biogenic methane and gasses that persist in the atmosphere for longer periods.

The CLA echoed these concerns, saying: “It is vitally important to ensure the best scientific information and tools available are being used to inform and build trust in the decisions that global and domestic policy makers are taking.”

The groups stated that delaying implementation of “accurate measures” by the IPCC could not be afforded and emphasised that “urgent action” was needed to improve productivity to sequester carbon in pastures and grasslands.

They said: “Whatever the IPPC’s decision on GHG metrics, farmers are committed to broad based action on climate change.”

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