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Climate change policies must safeguard agriculture

Hon David Carter MP
National Party Agriculture Spokesman

19 September 2007

Govt's climate change policies must safeguard agriculture

Labour must recognise the importance of the agricultural sector in its upcoming climate change package, says National's Agriculture spokesman, David Carter.

"I can only hope the Government will take into account two simple factors.

"First, the importance of agriculture to the economy and its vital contribution to New Zealand's prosperity.

"And secondly, that the sector has recognised the need to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and is taking a proactive approach to doing that.

"That is evidenced by the fact that agricultural emissions have increased relatively slowly, by 1% a year over the past 15 years, compared to other industries.

"Transport emissions have increased by 62% and energy by 54% over the same period.

"Labour has promised the agricultural sector that it will find new, cost-effective technologies which both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase productivity.

"But I'm not holding my breath. Labour has been all over the paddock on climate change and its track record is a joke.

"The inconvenient truth is that under Labour, New Zealand's emissions have outgrown those of both Australia and the United States.

"Helen Clark and her cronies have also overseen the first significant deforestation in 50 years with the loss of 40,000 hectares, or 32 million trees.

"With a record like this, it's hard to trust anything Labour does on climate change."

ENDS

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