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Climate Change Policies Must Be Sensible

Climate Change Policies Must Be Sensible

18 December 2006

Federated Farmers says it is too early to comment specifically on the options contained in the discussion document Sustainable Land Management and Climate Change released this morning by the government.

“We will need time to digest the government’s proposals before we’re in a position to give a considered response,” said Frank Brenmuhl of Federated Farmers.

However the Federation will be looking for the proposals to deliver practical, cost-effective solutions that allow New Zealand farming to remain economically viable and internationally competitive. This is important because New Zealand Inc desperately needs the overseas income generated by primary industries.

During the consultation period Federated Farmers will want to see more information and analysis on the financial and economic costs and benefits of the options. It is of paramount importance that policy decisions are based on robust and credible information that takes account of the impacts on the wider New Zealand economy, in particular primary industries.

Federated Farmers will also be looking to see how the sustainable land management proposals fit within wider water and energy policy programmes already underway.

“Farming is more than just livestock and soil. Farming relies on transport and energy to turn grass and crops into valued food products. New Zealand’s agriculture energy efficiency is well recognised. For example, according to a recent Lincoln University report, New Zealand is far more energy efficient, even including the transport cost to the UK, than UK production - over twice as efficient in the case of dairy, and four times as efficient in the case of sheep meat.

“We’re glad to see the government committing to work on adaptation and helping New Zealand adapt to the climate changes to come, said Mr Brenmuhl.

“Adverse events of recent years have shown that more can be done to better manage the toll on families and businesses from lack of essential services and the rehabilitation of homes and farms.

“We’ll be working to ensure our members are aware of the implications of the policies put forward so they can engage constructively with government through the consultation process in February and March of next year,” said Mr Brenmuhl.

Frank Brenmuhl is on Federated Farmers’ national board and is the spokesperson for climate change. His is also the chairman of Dairy Farmers of New Zealand.

ENDS

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