Farmers hung out to dry as National fails to show leadership
12 March 2013
Farmers hung out to dry as
National fails to show leadership on climate
Farmers need the Government to show leadership on climate change and support them to face the challenges ahead, Green Party climate change spokesperson Kennedy Graham said.
“The National Government has no plan to address the increasingly serious effects of climate in the agriculture sector and farmers are being hung out to dry,” Dr Graham said.
“The National Government is ignoring climate change, and downgrading measures like an Emissions Trading Scheme to tackle it, but is also failing to future-proof key New Zealand industries like agriculture.
“A national strategy is needed to face the challenge of climate change. Of course that would require an explicit acknowledgement of concern.
“Finance Minister Bill English wouldn’t mention the two dirty little words ‘climate change’ when talking about farmers suffering extreme droughts. However he did say ‘if it turned out there was a succession of droughts there’s no amount of Government assistance that can offset that effect on farming’.
“The Government’s role should be to provide leadership and support so farmers are ready to cope, not to give hand-outs as they struggle to survive.
“There is scope for farming to become more sustainable in New Zealand but the way forward is not more intensive dairying which this government is facilitating.
“Instead of backing industries like mining that will add to climate change, the Government should incentivise green industries where New Zealand could at least get up to speed with the rest of the world.”
Bill English on Checkpoint http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint
Niwa on climate change: Risk of Drought under Climate Change – Of all of the threats posed to New Zealand by climate change, drought is the one which could have the largest effect on New Zealand's economy.