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Just how much warming does methane cause?

- Thursday, July 09, 2009

Several recent articles published in Australia and internationally have focused on the role of methane in global warming, and in particular the role of methane from ruminant livestock. A recent piece in the New Scientist argues that the Global Warming Potential of methane (methane is allocated a GWP of 21 or 23 by the IPCC) is understated because it has a much higher warming potential (above 70) for the short period (10-12 years) that it stays in the atmosphere, and that there should be a much greater focus on reducing methane emissions instead of carbon dioxide emissions. View the rest of the post here

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US Agriculture secretary promotes agriculture offsets

- Wednesday, July 08, 2009

US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has strongly promoted the role of agricultural offsets provided by US farmers (such as changes to no-til cropping or perennial pastures) as a key element of the US cap and trade climate change legislation currently being considered by Committees of the US Senate. The Committee hearing are a preliminary step in the process of developing a final form of the legislation that will be voted on by the Senate later this year. View the rest of the post here

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NZ Trade Minister on Trade, food security, climate conflicts.

- Tuesday, July 07, 2009

NZ Conservation and Trade Minister Tim Groser has highlighted the potentially conflicting climate and trade agendas that are in play at present as attempts are made to finalise the Doha trade round at the same time that multi-lateral climate change negotiations reach a critical point with the Copenhagen negotiations that are set to conclude in December, 2009. View the rest of the post here

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US unlikely to ratify international climate treaty

- Monday, July 06, 2009

Based on a report on Bloomberg, the USA may never ratify an international climate treaty, irrespective of the fate of US Climate legislation, because treaty ratification requires a two-thirds majority in the US Senate. This suggests that US agriculture may never face the problems Australian agriculture has with the euro-centric emissions accounting rules that preclude the inclusion of many agricultural sequestration activities being recognised in national greenhouse inventories. View the rest of the post here

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US farmers get a different climate deal to Australian farmers.

- Friday, July 03, 2009

A quick comparison of Climate change legislation proposed in Australia and the USA shows the stark difference between the proposed treatment of US agriculture under the Waxman-Markey legislation, and Australia's CPRS legislation. View the rest of the post here

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Care to disclose your carbon ?

- Thursday, July 02, 2009

An interesting element of the US Waxman-Markey climate change legislation (The American Clean Energy and Security Act or ACES)  is the proposed “Product Carbon Disclosure Program”, outlined in Section 274. This section requires the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct a study to determine the feasibility of a national program to measure, disclose and provide label information about the emissions associated with any product sold in the USA. Food and clothing are identified as sectors likely to be allocated a higher priority for this provision. View the rest of the post here

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Mixed reaction of US agriculture to ACES climate legislation.

- Wednesday, July 01, 2009

It is becoming apparent that the US agriculture sector has mixed feelings about the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act of 2009, which proposes the establishment of a greenhouse emissions trading scheme in the USA from 2012. The legislation is yet to be voted on by the US Senate. View the rest of the post here

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US climate bill could shift debate on agriculture emissions

- Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Climate Bill that has been passed by the US House of Representatives still has a long way to go before becoming law, although with the Democrats generally supporting the legislation and holding a 59-40 majority in the US Senate, pundits suggest the legislation has a better chance than similar legislation that was proposed almost a decade ago under the Clinton administration. View the rest of the post here

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US Climate change legislation passes first hurdle – tougher challenges ahead.

- Sunday, June 28, 2009

The New York Times reports the US House of Representatives has narrowly passed climate change legislation, although political commentators believe the legislation will face a bigger challenge in the US Senate, given the breakdown of voting for the Bill. The legislation was passed by 219 votes to 212, mostly on the basis of Democrat votes – although 44 Democrats voted against the Bill. View the rest of the post here

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Action heats up on US Climate Bill.

- Friday, June 26, 2009

Legislation to implement a US greenhouse emissions trading scheme will encounter its first real test when it faces a vote in the US House of Representatives on Friday 26th. A series of amendments negotiated by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson appears to have gathered the support of farm state Democrats, but it is understood the Bill will face stiff opposition from Republicans.
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