Greenpeace opposes genetically enhanced (GE) rice. Greenpeace opposes man-made global warming. What to do when a company proposes to sell GE rice that cuts greenhouse gas emissions to Chinese farmers who can then earn greenhouse gas offset credits? The Guardian explains:
Money paid by green consumers to offset their flights and by companies that go carbon-neutral will be used to fund the planting of genetically modified (GM) crops under plans drawn up by a US biotechnology company.
Arcadia Biosciences is working with the Chinese government to reward farmers in China that grow the firm's genetically modified (GM) rice, with carbon credits that they can sell for cash.
The credits would be sold on the global carbon trading market set up under the Kyoto protocol, the international agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions, which is used by governments, companies and individuals to offset their pollution. Arcadia plans to expand the Chinese scheme to more crops in other countries, including Britain.
Arcadia says its GM rice requires less nitrogen fertiliser, and so farmers that grow it will lower their emissions of nitrous oxide—a greenhouse gas some 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Swapping global rice supply to the GM version, the company says, would save the equivalent of 50m tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, and generate £750m in carbon credits for farmers.
Seems like a sweet technical solution to both problems to me. But as Kermit says, "It ain't easy being green."
Whole Guardian article here.