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Questioning The Merits Of Use Of Exotics Long Term In Managing Climate Change Is A Good Start To The Discussion Paper


Questioning the merits of the use of exotics long term in managing climate change is a good start to the discussion paper. Transitioning to a low emissions and climate resilient future.

50SOG is encouraged by a change in the conversation on how to move New Zealand to a low carbon future.

The document says it is likely that forestry will over deliver new plantings that may be needed to meet reduction targets, and is in complete contradiction to not only the CCC draft advice to government but also to the fundamental intent of the ETS, which was to provide a pricing mechanism that would change emitters behaviour at source. Over delivery of forestry will only mask a failure to get carbon emitters to reduce their emissions, all while lining one generation of investors pockets, at New Zealand’s expense.

The reduction plan document states clearly: “based on current policy settings we estimate between 806,000 and 1,370,000 hectares of new forest could be planted between now and 2050. Given that the CCC made recommendations of new plantings of up to 380,000ha’s of exotic and 300,000ha’s indigenous we ask, where is the mechanism needed urgently to restrict the area that is planted, because we are looking down the barrel of a decimated sheep and beef sector with the accompanying loss of export earnings which helps provide this nations modern health benefits, it's modern technology, and lifestyles we currently enjoy if the overreach is not addressed.

We agree the need to question the role of forestry in the ETS over the long term and to have it acknowledged there is concern about potential impacts of large-scale exotic forestry on our local economy and communities, especially if the land is suitable for other uses, such as growing food.

To deliver an equitable transition strategy, it is only fair that agriculture's contribution to warming is understood. (It is consistently mis-quoted as being almost half of New Zealand’s emissions profile, but there is no talk or discussion around using the appropriate metric to measure the warming effect of methane from which to estimate any reduction needed) The government should be asking, what is the correct measurement metric?

  • GWP100 which measures volume, or
  • GWP* which measures contribution to warming

Neither so far have we managed to find any reference to a fundamental part of the Paris Agreement, 2.1 “to reduce emissions in a manner that does not threaten food production” therefore risking emissions leakage resulting in a detrimental global impact.

We would encourage a move to count all on farm sequestration that can be counted, accompanied with urgent funding for research into the contribution of native sequestration.

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