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Farm foresters protected by climate change policy

Tuesday, 22 October 2002 Media Statement

Farm foresters' interests protected by climate change policy

[Response to NZ Farm Forestry Assn statement of 21 October on government climate change policy]

Farm foresters' interests are well served by the government's climate change policy, says the Convenor of the Ministerial Group on Climate Change Pete Hodgson.

"Like other farmers, farm foresters are being exempted from any emissions charges on agricultural greenhouse gas emissions for at least the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, from 2008-2012. This exemption is made possible by the government's retention of the forest sink credits allocated to New Zealand under the Protocol.

"In exempting farmers from charges on those emissions, the government has recognised the fact that farmers have no immediately available way to reduce them except by cutting stock numbers. In return, the government expects the agricultural sector to invest in research into ways of reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.

"It is disappointing that the Farm Forestry Association still fails to recognise the value of the farming sector's exemption from emission charges. Its insistence that farm foresters would be better off with sink credits is simply not credible, when allocating the credits would mean farmers having to face emissions charges.

"Agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, primarily from livestock, make up almost half New Zealand's total emissions. Farm foresters would be in for a considerable financial shock if the government was to follow the logic of the Association's leadership."

ENDS

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