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Groundswell NZ Challenges Climate Change Minister To Tell The Full Story On Farm Emissions

The Government is expecting the agriculture sector to subsidise the rest of the economy on climate change, so Groundswell NZ is asking for the evidence from James Shaw, Groundswell NZ emissions spokesperson Steve Cranston says.

“Groundswell NZ has written to Climate Change Minister James Shaw to request any modelling or data he relies on, showing that agriculture is contributing to additional warming of the climate.”

“We support the call to stop further climate warming from the agricultural sector, in accordance with the Paris Agreement objective of limiting warming to 1.5° C. The farmers we represent want to do the right thing and ensure there is no net increase in atmospheric warming due to farming activities.”

“Our position is that farming in this country is currently at or close to climate neutrality. Emission outputs from agriculture are being offset by natural atmospheric decay, in the case of methane, or offset by farm tree sequestration, in the case of carbon.”

“Groundswell NZ has made multiple attempts to engage with Ministers and Government departments to seek information on our industry’s warming effect but have received no response. We now believe the Government is either withholding this information or has chosen not to produce this information for political purposes.”

“Groundswell NZ accepts that agriculture, like all other industries in this country, has contributed to historic warming of the atmosphere. However, we do not believe it is fair or reasonable to make agriculture the only industry liable for historic emissions.”

“We are calling on the Minister to clarify his position as to whether or not agriculture is a net contributor to atmospheric warming and whether the Government is deliberately setting agriculture emissions targets below zero warming, in order to offset other parts of the economy,” Mr Cranston says.

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