The question of how to effectively address agricultural greenhouse gas emissions is of critical importance for New Zealand and the world. Ensuring that our responses are effective requires us to first consider what we aim to achieve: why do we care about agricultural emissions?
This paper responds to this fundamental query, and argues that New Zealanders’ diverse individual motivations can be grouped under three headings:
concern about the direct impacts of climate change on New Zealand and the world.
pressure from others based on their concern about climate change.
environmental or social goals that are complementary to reducing emissions.
This framework is useful in setting out how our underlying motivations should shape our responses, and highlights the importance of choosing responses that will be robust to future uncertainties.