Greenpeace is issuing a "please explain" to the Green Party after action on agricultural emissions was left off its list of policy priorities, released yesterday.
"The dairy industry is New Zealand’s biggest polluter, responsible for driving the climate crisis, contaminating people’s drinking water and choking rivers with algae," says Greenpeace spokesperson Christine Rose.
"It’s baffling to see the Green Party join the rest of the political parties in studiously avoiding talking about regulating the country’s biggest climate polluter, this election. If the party that claims to be a champion for the environment won’t stand up to call them out, which party will? "The intensive dairy industry has downplayed its role in the climate crisis and pushed regulation delays for years. This has led to the failure of successive Governments to take action to cut the sector’s climate pollution. Without strong political leadership, that legacy will continue."
The Green Party’s document ‘The Future Is Up to Us’, highlights the Party’s priorities going into the election. It outlines actions that the Greens will prioritise on areas including housing, tax, ocean protection and climate change. The document includes policies on electricity and transport emissions, which respectively make up ~7% and ~17% of the nation’s emissions. However, there is noticeably no mention of action on agriculture which makes up 50% of the country’s emissions including most of its superheating gases methane and nitrous oxide.
"We know that the Greens have strong policy on agriculture. They need to make these policies a priority in potential coalition negotiations, or we will be left with worsening climate emissions and drinking water contamination and more unswimmable rivers due to unchecked dairy industry pollution," says Rose.
"We need urgent climate action that benefits people and nature, and we need it now," says Rose. "We’re urging the Green Party to tell it like it is on climate change, and to prioritise tackling the nation’s most polluting industry."