He waka eke noa: We are all in this together

LETTER

Globally, agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are top contributors to climate change/global warming and world leaders are now taking it seriously.

The International Conference on Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Food Security will be held in Berlin today.

Their No.1 aims are to provide an overview of relevant research activities and to highlight the need for action to reduce GHG emissions from agriculture; and improve carbon sequestration in the context of climate change, sustainable agriculture and food security.

New Zealand stands out among developed nations because half of our GHG emissions come from agriculture. We need to act now to reduce emissions and avoid climate catastrophe.

Green Party co-leader and Climate Change Minister James Shaw is committed to bringing agriculture into our Emissions Trading Scheme.

However, DairyNZ says that would unfairly penalise NZ farmers.

It is difficult for me to understand their reasoning. Already, more severe climate events are damaging their farmland and there are more intense droughts and flooding. Livestock have been traumatised and died as their pastures dry up, or get washed away. Indeed, farmers will be effected by the consequences of lack of global action more than most.

I am positive the Government bears no malice against farmers in its climate policy. The reality is that it is important farming survives while we get through this.

As our No.1 GHG emitter, agriculture needs to partake willingly to get those emissions down. It is not unfairly penalising New Zealand farmers to get them on board.

I will stick my neck out here, and this is solely my view: The reality is that farmers, as our No.1 group of emitters, should contribute the biggest share to GHG emissions reductions.

I do hope reason will prevail this time, with no tractors driven up Parliament steps in protest like when the last Labour-led government attempted to get farmers on board during Helen Clark’s time as prime minister.

Come on guys, He waka eke noa: We are all in this together.

BOB HUGHES

Globally, agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are top contributors to climate change/global warming and world leaders are now taking it seriously.

The International Conference on Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Food Security will be held in Berlin today.

Their No.1 aims are to provide an overview of relevant research activities and to highlight the need for action to reduce GHG emissions from agriculture; and improve carbon sequestration in the context of climate change, sustainable agriculture and food security.

New Zealand stands out among developed nations because half of our GHG emissions come from agriculture. We need to act now to reduce emissions and avoid climate catastrophe.

Green Party co-leader and Climate Change Minister James Shaw is committed to bringing agriculture into our Emissions Trading Scheme.

However, DairyNZ says that would unfairly penalise NZ farmers.

It is difficult for me to understand their reasoning. Already, more severe climate events are damaging their farmland and there are more intense droughts and flooding. Livestock have been traumatised and died as their pastures dry up, or get washed away. Indeed, farmers will be effected by the consequences of lack of global action more than most.

I am positive the Government bears no malice against farmers in its climate policy. The reality is that it is important farming survives while we get through this.

As our No.1 GHG emitter, agriculture needs to partake willingly to get those emissions down. It is not unfairly penalising New Zealand farmers to get them on board.

I will stick my neck out here, and this is solely my view: The reality is that farmers, as our No.1 group of emitters, should contribute the biggest share to GHG emissions reductions.

I do hope reason will prevail this time, with no tractors driven up Parliament steps in protest like when the last Labour-led government attempted to get farmers on board during Helen Clark’s time as prime minister.

Come on guys, He waka eke noa: We are all in this together.

BOB HUGHES

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Martin Hanson - 10 days ago
There is a deep irony in the dairy industry's resistance to confronting the reality of climate change: agriculture depends absolutely on a reasonably stable climate, yet the dairy and meat industries are among the biggest threats to global climate. As environmental philosopher Nate Hagens put it: "We're not facing a shortage of energy, but a longage of expectations."
It's another way of saying that we are taking more out of the Earth's basket of resources than can be sustained.

Bob Hughes - 10 days ago
Thanks Martin. Since submitting my article New Zealand Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor has delivered the welcoming address at the Berlin conference.
I suggest clicking https://www.beehive.govt.nz/speech/speech-international-conference-agricultural-ghg-emissions-and-food-security.
I emphasise how agriculture contributes to climate change, producing about 12 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and itself is so heavily effected by climate change with more extreme weather events. Also, our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called climate change the "nuclear free moment of this generation". And I reiterate, it is more critical that the agriculture industry do not again renege in such an unreasonable fashion as they did under the previous Helen Clark Labour government. We depend on the rural sector for so much.

Bill Hambidge - 5 days ago
The DairyNZ president is on record agreeing that farming needs to change. He wants more time to adapt but time is what our poor beleaguered planet is running out of. The June 2018 report by Professor Will Steffen and others warned that even now our Earth's system may already be heading on a pathway towards a "Hothouse Earth" state. The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere now has committed us to 1.6 degrees warming at least and probably up to 10 metres sea level rise. CO2 is accumulating at 10 Gigatons each year. Our children's lives will not be worth living - unless we can, as some UK scientists now suggest seriously work to reduce atmospheric CO2. Agriculture and transport are big offenders world wide. We have the solutions - we just need the guts to use them.

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