It is vital for Manitoba to reduce nitrous oxide if we are to reach our greenhouse gas reduction goals.
The most potent of the three major greenhouse gases is nitrous oxide. It is 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide. It makes up approximately 15% of the greenhouse gases produced annually in Manitoba, when expressed as carbon dioxide equivalents. It is produced primarily as the result of the application of fertilizer containing nitrogen onto fields in Manitoba to help the crops grow. Especially under wet conditions, the nitrogen applied is converted to nitrous oxide which is a gas and goes up into the atmosphere. The conversion of nitrogen to nitrous oxide results in a loss of the nitrogen fertilizer for farmers and the production of a potent greenhouse gas which warms the planet. Its importance is even greater when one considers that its residence time in the atmosphere is more than 100 years - usually given as about 112 years. The NDP produced a climate change plan with a target to reduce greenhouse gases in Manitoba. They failed to reach their targets largely because