50 Shades Of Green Launches TV Campaign
50 Shades of Green is to launch a hard-hitting TV campaign on July 1 to raise awareness of the impact of carbon forestry on New Zealand’s sheep and beef sector.
The group is alarmed the Government’s reform of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will incentivise the conversion of productive farmland into pine plantations by fossil fuel emitters.
It is also concerned at changes to the Overseas Investment Act, which streamline the purchase of land to plant carbon forestry at the expense of rural communities.
The campaign airs across Mediaworks and TVNZ
“We are concerned by the settings in climate change policy driving significant land use away from pastoral agriculture to exotic plantation forestry for carbon forestry,” says spokesperson Pattie O’Boyle
“The legislation does not have effective safeguards in place to prevent this from happening. In fact, it encourages it. If the Government really cares about rural communities, they must establish a mechanism so limits can be placed on the amount of forestry offsets that can be used by fossil fuel emitters. If at all.
“The phrase ' carbon farming' is also a misnomer. A farmer tends the land - as a caretaker for the next generation. Carbon Forestry is a one-off corporate investment in land accruing a large amount of cash over 17 years then abandoning both the land and the surrounding communities
“The best climate action we can take for the world is to maintain our low carbon impact food production in New Zealand and continue to meet high animal and environmental standards.”
Initial analysis indicates since the change in legislation (Oct 2018) about 70,000 hectares of productive sheep and beef land has been, or is in the process of being, converted into forestry. This is approximately 13 times more than the average annual amount of afforestation in New Zealand over the past five years.
“Agriculture last year earned 63% of NZ’s export income and it is expected to account for even more as a result of COVID-19.
“Only one third of NZ’s land area is suitable for agriculture. Planting 70,000 ha/year of productive land into carbon farming is figuratively like every year cutting off a finger from NZ’s productive hand.”
The TV campaign has been produced because we don’t think the vision of a New Zealand covered in pine is a vision that resonates with most New Zealander’s nor have New Zealanders caught up with what the impact on our landscape will be.