Climate change discussion ‘direction of travel’ is positive – Feds

15 June, 2018

The National Party’s five principles on which it will base emission reduction policies, including science-based and taking into account economic impact, are spot on, Federated Farmers says.

The Opposition’s support for a bi-partisan approach to establishing an independent, non-political Climate Change Commission was outlined by Leader Simon Bridges in a speech at Fieldays this morning.  National’s three other emission reduction criteria are technology driven, long-term incentives and global response.

“We’re delighted that the Coalition Government, and now National, have both signaled their recognition that there’s a good case for treating short-lived greenhouse gases (such as methane) and long-lived (carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide) differently,” Katie says.

“The direction of travel of the national debate on this vital topic is positive.”

“Further than that, Simon Bridges also noted the impracticality and unfairness of putting agriculture into the ETS, when he said ‘…we should also recognise that where technology does not exist to mitigate emissions, adding a tax just makes that industry worse off without reducing global emissions’.”

Katie, who recently attended a Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium event, says there are exciting potential livestock emission mitigation processes and technology coming down the pipeline.

“They’re only at concept stage, and they’ve yet to be trailed in a real-life farming situation, but even if only some of them come to fruition farmers will quickly add them to the toolbox of measures they already employ to lessen their environmental footprint.

“But therein lies an important message to political parties of all hues: Some of the funding for greenhouse gas science and research is tagged until 2019.  While there has been no indication it won’t be renewed, it is vital this funding continues, and ideally is increased,” Katie says.