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Farming, horticultural groups seek flexibility in zero emissions plans

Friday 20th July 2018

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Both rural lobby group Federated Farmers and Horticulture New Zealand, which represents commercial vegetable, fruit and berry fruit growers, have asked the government for flexibility in the Zero Carbon Bill, the government’s proposal for sharp emissions reductions by 2050.

New Zealand's government received 14,000 submissions on its plans for a new Zero Carbon Bill during a six-week consultation that closed this week. 

In its submission on the bill, Federated Famers said the best option of the three put forward in the Our Climate Your Say discussion paper was the "two baskets" approach that focused on reductions in long-lived greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide, while stabilising short-lived emissions such as methane, according to a statement by the farmer lobby group

The group warned that moves to significantly reduce emissions and meet the nation’s Paris Agreement commitments should not be at the expense of New Zealanders’ economic and social wellbeing.

"We need that clear roadmap to a low net emissions economy and a long-term plan of action that endures political cycles," Feds climate change spokesperson Andrew Hoggard said in the statement. “But New Zealand should not lock itself into an inflexible approach that disadvantages us more than other nations.”

Separately, Horticulture New Zealand supports the concept of the bill, “provided there are viable alternative production systems and technology developed within that timeframe,” the group said in a statement about its own submission to the environment ministry.

"We support the bill having provisions for a Climate Change Commission, provided that commission has the ability to advise on a revised target for emissions budgets and adaptation," Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman said in the statement.

”Horticulture is concerned about the impacts of the various ‘net zero’ options on emissions prices and on GDP, jobs, incomes, and the health of New Zealanders,” he said. "Growers in the horticulture industry are mostly small to medium sized businesses, with a few larger corporates in some sectors. Therefore, changes in costs can have a dramatic effect on the ability of these businesses to remain profitable and to continue to offer job opportunities to New Zealanders.”


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