Climate Summit: Following NZ’s Lead On Climate Action Would Be A Disaster, Says Greenpeace

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Greenpeace is calling out Jacinda Ardern’s lack of
action on emissions from agriculture as the Prime Minister
speaks at the Leaders Summit on Climate convened by US
President Biden.

In a speech during the summit, Ardern
encouraged all countries to put a price on carbon in order
to tackle the climate crisis. Greenpeace executive director
Russel Norman says this is ironic given the fact that after
four years in power the Ardern Government has still not put
a price on New Zealand’s biggest climate polluter –
agriculture.

“Intensive dairying is New Zealand’s
biggest climate polluter and, because of it, we have some of
the highest emissions per person in the world. What the tar
sands are to Canada or coal mining is to Australia –
that’s what intensive dairying is to New Zealand,” says
Norman.

“You can’t tackle climate change in Aotearoa
without taking action on industrial dairying.”

In
2017, Ardern described the climate crisis as her
generation’s nuclear-free moment, indicating that Aotearoa
could be a climate leader. But Norman says the
Government’s actions do not match its words.

“Ardern
is encouraging other countries to follow New Zealand’s
lead on climate. Quite frankly, that’d be a disaster,
considering our Government is too timid to regulate our
biggest climate polluter. If Canada followed New Zealand’s
lead, they would do nothing about tar sands, Australia
nothing about coal.”

Under the Government’s current
policy trajectory, agriculture will not be required to pay a
price on its emissions until 2024 at the earliest. Instead,
the sector has negotiated yet another ‘voluntary
agreement’ with Government called He Waka Eke
Noa.

“Past experience tells us that voluntary
agreements with polluting industries don’t work,” says
Norman.

“What works is cutting the bad stuff and
making polluters pay, while making it easier for farmers to
do the right thing. That means legislation to phase out
synthetic nitrogen fertiliser and imported feed like PKE, a
price on agricultural emissions, and support for farmers to
switch to regenerative
organic farming methods
.

“The cap on synthetic
nitrogen fertiliser was a first step in the right direction,
now we need to treat climate change as if it really were an
emergency.

“Unlike coal and oil mining, farming will
be part of the solution. We can turn the farming sector
around from being Aotearoa’s biggest polluter into one of
our best solutions for tackling climate change and restoring
nature.”

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