Facts About Ruminant Methane (FARM)

Stop Press: Boycott the Census.

Join in the action to register your disapproval at moves to tax methane – boycott the census.

The information you supply Statistic NZ is used to compile the Greenhouse Gas Inventory. Tell them you are not agreeing to fill out their forms until the issue of livestock emissions is based on sound science and actual proven warming. Send a message to all those involved in what is a “political construct” not based on sound science.

NOTE: Participation in the census is required under the Statistics Act, and failure to comply may lead to a fine.

F.A.R.M. suggests you write and explain that you refuse to comply.  Suggested letter down below.

Here are some reasons you can use:

  1. Your continued use of the metric GWP100 to compile agricultural data is unacceptable. It is now proven by IPCC scientists that in stable or decreasing ruminant emissions situations as is occurring and has occurred for some 20 years, that no additional warming is happening. In fact, farmers in New Zealand are contributing to cooling.
    Work carried out at Oxford University by Professor Myles Allen et al states clearly that GWP100 in our conditions overstates the impact of ruminant methane by 400%. See https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ab6d7e
    This brings farmers into odium and leads to pressure to have farmers unfairly taxed.
  2. Farmers are already at ‘net zero’. Ruminant emissions in New Zealand are falling and have done for 20 years. We are the best performing sector in the nation – don’t attack us unjustly  
  3. Farmers are being forced to lower over-stated emissions further because the authorities cannot find a way to lower emissions in other sectors. We object to being treated inequitably especially as we are the major mainstay of the economy holding the country together during crises.  
  4. Continued use of GWP100 will lead to farmers having to cut our production in NZ when we have the planet’s lowest carbon footprint (per unit of production) and this displaced production will be produced by other countries with a worse record, leading to increased emissions overall.
  5. This then leads to Article 2 (b) of the Paris Agreement being ignored when it states clearly that countries should not reduce food production in their pursuit of emission goals. Paying taxes based on GWP100 will force me to cut back inputs and production will fall?

Further points Statistics should consider:

  • Why can no one explain the quantum of warming in degrees centigrade resulting from our ruminant methane emissions in New Zealand? 
  • What is the value of being “first in the world” to tax farm emissions and damage our economy when there is no indication that the three major emitting countries all of whom produce more GHG in a day than we produce in a year will follow suit?

Form letter you could use: Change it to suit your preferences.

Dear Statistics Collector

Reference No. xxxxxx (Insert the number in the top right hand corner of the letter you received)

The statistics you publish here are inaccurate. They are compiled using the discredited GWP100 metric to quantify CO2 equivalents. This system overstates the impact of methane emissions by 400% and so cannot be used to quantify greenhouse gas emissions. The flaws in the CO2 equivalent system are not disputed and the system is not supported in science. While you continue to use this system your statistics are worthless we are not inclined to spend time supplying you with information that you misuse.

I object to your census and refuse to fill in the recently received forms Compile your statistics based on actual warming occurring on my farm, publish that and apologise for the past false information and I will fill in my census.

You continue to use the GWP 100 metric to compile statistics and thus paint agriculture in an erroneous manner bring disparagement on farming. For example, see this webpage:

https://www.stats.govt.nz/news/new-data-tracks-regional-greenhouse-gas-emissions-in-relation-to-regional-gdp/ gives a false picture inciting derision and a false basis for any taxation regime.

Because our ruminant methane emissions are steadily declining, and have done for 20 years, we are contributing to cooling the planet. When you acknowledge that I will cooperate with you and fill out my census.

Yours faithfully

We are suggesting you do this immediately and tell your neighbours to do the same.

Make sure as many as possible join this boycott and send a message.


Robin Grieve, Chairman FARM
Ph 0274795663

Owen Jennings, Manager FARM
Ph 0274424933