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SS4C NZ disappointed in Govt's 'weak stance' on agricultural emissions

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

School Strike 4 Climate NZ welcomes the coalition Government’s endeavour to take action on reducing agricultural emissions but is disappointed at the weak stance that the Government has taken on the issue.

Agricultural emissions account for 48% of our emissions profile in Aotearoa and as we are in the midst of a climate crisis, SS4C NZ believe there needs to be ambitious and more meaningful solutions in place which tackle the largest sector of our emissions profile.

"We know we need to stay below 1.5 degrees of warming to sustain life on Earth and therefore have a future. According to the IPCC, this requires immediate, transformative reductions in carbon emissions over the next decade. Therefore, we know that in order to stay below 1.5 degrees of warming, we need to halve our emissions by 2030. The cost of inaction is our future and our collective home and we refuse to sit by and let that slip through our fingers" says Sophie Handford from SS4C NZ.

48% of our total emissions profile held by agriculture is the largest percentage held by any one sector. SS4C NZ believe transformative and bold action is needed in this area if we are going to have a chance at safeguarding our home and that of the animals we share this planet with.

"Bringing agricultural emissions into the ETS is a step in the right direction and we appreciate this. However the 95% discount removes the disincentive for polluters to stop polluting as the government and taxpayers will be the ones to foot the bill of their malpractice." says Edward White, an Auckland organiser of SS4C.

The current action proposed by the government constitutes a voluntary report from farmers on their emissions ahead of 2024 where mandatory reporting will be inducted, however, SS4C recommends that this becomes immediately compulsory in order to follow through with understanding in regulation.

SS4C NZ supports agriculture being included in the ETS as a first step, but are disappointed with the way in which the Government plans to reduce emissions from this sector, as addressed in their latest proposal. "It is unjust to us, to taxpayers, to farmers who will need to transition, and to the future generations who will have to deal with the inaction. Taxpayers will foot the bill and not the polluters. Those who are responsible need to take the blame and reduce their emissions." says Edward White. Sophie Handford, of SS4C, says "this isn’t transformational change, and we have a real opportunity here to lead the way in sustainable farming and methane reduction".

SS4C agrees that too little action is being taken by New Zealand to do our part in consideration of staying below 1.5 degrees and the potential negative effects falling on future generations. As a developed country with an economy driven by agriculture, we have the potential to innovate and lead in this space on the international stage.

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