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Fed Farmers counters ACT Party on ETS

Fed Farmers counters ACT Party on ETS

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Federated Farmers counters ACT on emissions trading scheme

Federated Farmers has reacted with dismay to the ACT party misrepresenting the Federation’s position on the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZETS).

The comments made on Radio Live Sunday by ACTs environment spokesperson, Kath McCabe, said ACT thought Federated Farmers didn’t understand the repercussions the scheme will have on the country's agriculture industry. Federation president, Don Nicolson, was appalled by this claim:

“It’s the worrying distortion of reality I would expect from someone ranked 42nd on their party list. I suggest Ms McCabe checks her facts with her party leader before commenting further.”

Before the final reading of the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading) Amendment Bill, Federated Farmers unsuccessfully pleaded with all political parties not to pass the Bill, given its rushed nature and impact on agriculture as New Zealand’s biggest economic driver. From 2011, farmers and consumers alike will be faced with massive hikes in the cost of fuel, petrol, electricity and other basic commodities. From 2018, a graduated reduction in New Zealand’s agricultural output will be required in order for farmers to meet their emission targets.

“If France and Germany are revisiting their emission schemes due to the economic threat it poses to their car manufacturing base, surely we should be doing the same for agriculture?” Mr Nicolson said.

“The current meltdown in world economic markets is nothing compared to the economic ticking bomb this scheme represents. We are utterly dependent on the export of food yet we are the only country on earth to include farm animals in an emissions trading scheme.

“New Zealand’s farmers actually have a great story to tell. While agriculture contributes a ‘massive’ 0.1% of global emissions we actually feed almost 1% of the World’s population. Our highly efficient farmers feed up to ten times more people than the emissions produced. That’s a good for the world.

“By forcing production offshore to less efficient countries, it will actually be worse for global emissions and disastrous for our economy. That’s madness,” Mr Nicolson concluded


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