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Livestock Producers Have Opportunity to Reduce Fossil Fuel Use

15 February 2016
Manitoba Pork Council

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CANADA - A Minto area farmer says livestock producers have an opportunity to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases by reducing their use of fossil fuels, writes Bruce Cochrane.

In December the Paris based International Meat Secretariat reaffirmed its commitment to tackling climate change by focusing on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

David Rourke, a Minto area farmer, told those on hand yesterday for the 2016 Manitoba Sustainable Energy Association Conference and Annual General Meeting, to meet global greenhouse gas reduction targets, it will be necessary to reduce our fossil fuel use by 90 percent by about 2030 and suggests a carbon tax, in the range of $240, could provide the incentive to accomplish that.

David Rourke-Rourke Farms:

Livestock producers, particularly cattle producers, have a real opportunity to build the soil. to really sequester carbon and reduce fuel use.

Hog barns are energy intensive operations for heating, cooling so there will be an opportunity to use alternative energies, solar power, wind power, use of anaerobic digesters.

If we are going to get away from fossil fuels and there is a $240 carbon tax then a lot of things that may not have been economical such as an anaerobic digester become more feasible.

We also have to remember though in Manitoba we're kind of uniquely situated in terms of renewable hydro electric power and that has been very hard to compete with.

It sounds like kind of going back to the past but I think we're going to need every bit of technology, every bit of innovation that we can muster to be able to really truly be farming in a zero carbon economy.

Mr Rourke acknowledges this will be a hard sell because we are so dependant on fossil fuels but we need to press governments to follow through on their greenhouse gas reduction commitments and on our own farms and in our cities to make sure we leave this world in a state that our great grandchildren can survive.

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