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We need to science our way out of this - Federated Farmers

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

It’s time for the New Zealand public to get ready for a discussion about how science can lead us out of our climate change crisis, Federated Farmers says.

Yesterday’s report released by the Climate Change Commission was a massive piece of work which dives into every corner of New Zealand’s approach to achieving its climate change goals.

The report challenges Kiwis to rethink just about every part of their lives, Federated Farmers president Andrew Hoggard says.

And farmers are no different to anyone else, except that they’ve been talking about science-based analysis, data gathering and solutions for much longer.

"The report talks about pushing harder to get solutions from science and technology, and farmers are totally about that too," Andrew says.

"That’s why Federated Farmers continues to support programmes like He Waka Eke Noa and the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium."

"Now we are going to need every Kiwi to join a conversation about their need to consider, and eventually except, the use of technologies like methane vaccines, feed inhibitors and other solutions like gene edited grasses.

"This is how we are going to meet our toughest targets. Kiwis will need to get on board with this."

New Zealand already has continually improving livestock efficiency, we already have farmers planting native trees and protecting existing forests.

The Commission has offered sound, depoliticized advice for agriculture emissions that acknowledge New Zealand’s world leading low emissions footprint.

"But the pressure has been on farmers for a long time to do their bit, and its staying on. Now we all need to step up and accept the use of more high-tech solutions. They are out there, we just have to approve them."

Other points from the Report:

- The report is over 800 pages long and contains an enormous amount of detailed data assessment,

- The report calls on government agencies to all be required to have climate change goals in their mandates, and not leave it all to the Ministry for the Environment,

- We appreciated the report’s science-based split gas approach but the sector needs certainty as to what is ‘equivalent to net zero long lived gases by 2050’, this means launching a review of our domestic methane reduction targets.

- The Commission has accepted the blanket afforestation of farms with pine trees is not a sustainable climate policy for New Zealand,

- Repeated mentions in the report of the need to improve rural broadband in order to enable the uptake of high-tech mitigation tools by farmers are pleasing.

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