Getting ready for the International Climate Change Conference

// Climate Change

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) representatives are gearing up for the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) meeting soon in Dubai.

Cows in field

COP28 is running between 30 November to 12 December, and expects around 70,000 attendees from across the globe taking part in discussions on a wide range of issues. Of particular importance for the New Zealand sheep and beef industry is the key issue of methane's impact on the climate, and what appropriate reduction targets should be.  

The conference attracts governmental and non-governmental representatives from different nations to agree on how they will be managing their contributions to climate change, and its impacts.  

B+LNZ’s Senior Environment Policy Analyst, Madeline Hall, and Pouhere Rautaki Ahuwhenua Māori, Charles Taituha will be representing New Zealand sheep and beef farmers and report back with insights from their discussions. 

B+LNZ is working with key partners such as the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB), the Global Dairy Platform and the Canadian Cattle Association to host an official side event at COP28. 

This side event will focus on climate-smart livestock production, showcasing adaptation and mitigation approaches in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Oceania to increase livestock system and grassland resilience. It will also discuss finance, targets and measurement of progress to improve sustainability. 

Both Hall and Taituha will speak at the side event, with a focus on food systems, land use, methane emissions, and indigenous people’s rights. 

While an important part of COP is the government-to-government negotiations, another key aspect are the conversations held ‘on the sidelines’, which provides a chance to engage with a wide range of organisations.  

“B+LNZ will use this opportunity to position New Zealand as a leader in sustainable farming, and demonstrate that we are committed to supporting global food security through the trade in ethically and sustainably produced red meat,” says Hall. 

A key issue for B+LNZ is to work together with likeminded organisations to advocate for methane targets that are set on a warming basis, rather than using the GWP100 metric which doesn’t take into account the short-lived nature of this gas.  

Hall says, “We have been calling for better metrics for some time and platforms like COP are really important opportunities to get influence the discussion.  

“Improving understanding of methane metrics and warming impacts will ensure that appropriate targets are set for ruminant agriculture by both governments and businesses,” she says. 

Keep a lookout on B+LNZ’s website for COP28 insights from the B+LNZ representatives. 

To learn more about COP28, visit the official website.