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reality on Kyoto and climate change at last

12 December 2008

Thank goodness, reality on Kyoto and climate change at last

“I really like the language coming out of the Poznan conference,” said Don Nicolson, Federated Farmer’s president and trade spokesperson.

“I can’t say it better than Tim Groser, our Trade Negotiations Minister, if that ‘in the area of livestock production, 'mitigation' simply means 'cut production' - we do not have a sustainable way forward’. This is the clearest statement I’ve heard about Kyoto in years,” Mr Nicolson said.

“New Zealand’s trade team told the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that neither New Zealand ‘or the world would benefit from a transfer of production from New Zealand to countries that are less efficient in food production and whose carbon footprint in food production, taking account of every step in the supply chain, is worse than New Zealand's’. That’s Federated Farmers view exactly.

“In terms of global climate change, New Zealand acts globally by farming locally,” Mr Nicolson added.

Federated Farmers looked forward to New Zealand advocating for farm animals and related emissions to be excluded from the next phase of the Kyoto Protocol. Kyoto, as it is currently designed, poses real problems for developing countries whose emissions profile is similar to that of New Zealand. While half of New Zealand’s emissions come from agriculture, this represents only 0.1% of global emissions. Despite this, New Zealand exports 90% of its output feeding the equivalent of almost one percent of the world’s population.

“If the world is serious about combating climate change without starving people, then animal and related emissions need to be out of Kyoto. There is simply no way developing countries will consider entering Kyoto post 2012 if that comes at the cost of food security,” Mr Nicolson concluded.


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