Last week, on 15 June, Groundswell NZ sent a letter to the Minister of Climate Change James Shaw requesting that he provide evidence to back up his implied claim that NZ agriculture is creating additional warming of the climate, Groundswell NZ emissions spokesperson Steve Cranston says.
We are yet to receive a response.
Since that letter was sent, industry groups have now backed Groundswell’s call for agricultural emissions policy to use warming based accounting and for the emissions reduction targets to be reviewed.
“The Minister’s inability to provide any information on agriculture’s contribution to additional warming demonstrates that this Government did not do their homework on farm emissions before threatening the farming community with an emissions tax.”
“This Government has put ideology before the science and got caught out.”
“Farmers expect a response from the Minister as to why internationally accepted science regarding methane’s effect on warming was never presented to the New Zealand public during his campaign for a farm emissions tax. This tax on rural New Zealand appears entirely politically motivated.”
“The imminent revision of agricultural emissions accounting will have a significant flow-on effect for climate policy in this country. Agriculture produces 48% of our gross emissions but the warming effect of these emissions has been grossly overstated. Revising emissions accounting to use the more accurate warming effect would correctly rate New Zealand as making one of the lowest warming contributions in the world, rather than one of the highest, as under the blunt gross emissions approach.”
“The He Waka Eke Noa emissions pricing proposal is now redundant. This entire workstream was focused on achieving the existing targets using gross emissions accounting. A change to warming-based accounting will require creating new policy from the ground up.”
“There is immense frustration amongst the rural community at the time and resources wasted on developing an emissions scheme that was never going to be fit for purpose. There are now growing calls for a review of the rural advocacy system to ensure this does not happen again.”
“This government has now lost all credibility with the rural community. Farmers must now take the lead on environmental management and create a workable policy that addresses all environmental concerns under one integrated framework. This current tsunami of conflicting and overlapping policy proposals will not achieve the results New Zealanders want to see,” says Mr Cranston.
Rural New Zealand is expecting answers on this and looking to the media to play their role in providing that scrutiny.
The letter to Climate Change Minister James Shaw can be found at www.groundswellnz.co.nz/news/letter-to-james-shaw-requesting-agricultural-emissions-evidence