Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

NZ dragging the chain on climate change

15 December 2008

NZ dragging the chain on climate change

New Zealand could be a world leader on finding ways to feed the world without changing the climate, instead of dragging the chain as we have done at the Poznan climate negotiations, the Green Party says.

Associate Climate Change Minister Tim Groser doesn't seem to understand that the purpose of the Kyoto protocol is to change the way we do business to reduce emissions, not to make farming and industry pay money. If it becomes just an extra cost to business as usual, the treaty will have failed, Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

"Instead of arguing that agriculture is a special case, countries like New Zealand, which rely heavily on agriculture, should be looking for different ways of farming.

"It is essential to maintain food production, and Groser is right that developing countries will not accept climate change commitments if it means their people will starve - but that is not the alternative.

"It is possible to feed the world and reduce climate changing emissions by feeding less grain to animals and more to people; by producing more poultry and pigs and less beef and dairy; by reducing stocking intensity and the use of nitrogen fertilisers; by managing wet soil conditions in a healthier way; and by developing new grasses and other cattle feeds which produce less methane.

"Surely there are enough ways forward here to have a real effect by 2013 when the next climate agreement should come into force?

"Currently most of the grain produced is fed to animals, creating both a shortage of grain for people, and high methane and nitrous oxide emissions from the animals. The world also needs protein, and increasingly demands animal protein, but here too there are options. Providing animal protein from poultry and pigs has much lower emissions as they are not ruminants.

"Even dairy products and beef/sheep meat do not have to produce such high emissions. Less intensive dairying without nitrogen fertilisers, and better soil management in wet conditions can greatly reduce nitrous oxide emissions. Sheep farmers with less productive back country can profitably plant some of it in either permanent forest sinks or production forestry. Research is underway, and needs more funding, to find alternative feeds, such as high sugar grasses, for cattle to reduce emissions and increase productivity.

"Instead of denying reality, which is that our agricultural emissions change climate just as much as our use of fossil fuels, it is time to focus on ways of feeding the world without changing the climate," she says.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Geo-political Posturing Over China’s Cyber Hacks, Plus The Weekly Playlist

The timing was one of the weirder aspects of this week’s cyber condemnation of China by the West. Why was this piece of political theatre being staged now? China (and Russia’s) sponsoring and/or condoning of semi-state and criminal hacker groups has been known about for nigh on a decade. More particularly, Microsoft had been alerted to the flaws in its Microsoft Exchange... More>>




 
 


Government: Quarantine Free Travel With Australia Suspended

Quarantine Free Travel from all Australian states and territories to New Zealand is being suspended as the Covid situation there worsens, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced today... More>>

ALSO:


Government: New Zealand Condemns Malicious Cyber Activity By Chinese State-sponsored Actors

New Zealand has established links between Chinese state-sponsored actors known as Advanced Persistent Threat 40 (APT40) and malicious cyber activity in New Zealand. “The GCSB has worked through a robust technical attribution process in relation to this activity. New Zealand is today joining other countries in strongly condemning this malicious activity... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Commits $600,000 To Flood Recovery

The Government is contributing $600,000 to help residents affected by the weekend’s violent weather with recovery efforts. Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor have been in the Buller district this afternoon to assess flood damage and support the local response effort... More>>

ALSO:



NZUS Council: Welcomes Nomination Of Senator Tom Udall As US Ambassador To NZ

The NZUS Council welcomes the nomination of Senator Tom Udall to the role of US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, NZUS Council executive director Jordan Small said... More>>

BusinessNZ: Visa Extensions Welcomed
BusinessNZ has welcomed the extension of some critical skill visa durations and changes to immigration systems to speed processing. Chief Executive Kirk Hope says move acknowledges advocacy by the hospitality sector, the BusinessNZ Network and others, and comes not a moment too soon.... More>>



Social Development: Government Initiatives Contribute To Fall In Benefit Numbers

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the release of the June quarter Benefit Statistics which show a continuing fall in the number of people receiving a Main Benefit... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels