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23/7/2018 — Economics, Politics and Government
Climate moves costly – Federated Farmers

Dunedin, July 23, 2018: The green zealotry of the Ardern Coalition Government has seen New Zealand’s Federated Farmers warning against climate change measures which could harm New Zealand's ability to pay its way in the world.

The Otago Daily Time’s Rural Life publication said this warning has come in a submission to the Zero Carbon Bill, which aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

This report originated on Radio New Zealand.

Federated Farmers’ submission said it supported moves to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions to meet targets agreed at the Paris climate change conference of 2015. But this should not be at the expense of New Zealanders' economic and social wellbeing.

Federated Farmers warned that in the decades to 2050, New Zealand would be grappling with high costs from an ageing population, so there needed to be careful thought about what climate change policy would do to the economy, jobs and incomes.

The farming group said NZ's primary industries earned 64% of the country's merchandise export income. This came from unsubsidised but efficient farms, which faced fewer trade barriers than previously.

Rural Life said Federated Farmers believed it would be counter-productive for future governments to impose costs on producers that undermined those gains.

Its submission was reportedly one of 14,000 to the Government. Another submission came from Horticulture New Zealand.

It supported the 2050 goal in principle, but it said growers in the horticulture industry were mostly small to medium sized businesses, and would be vulnerable to any significant increase in costs.

It stressed the importance of NZ's international competitiveness and the potential for higher overseas emitters to displace lower emitters who could no longer be competitive in the country.

Rural Life said much of the latest debate is focussed on the status of methane in the battle against climate change. Methane is an intense but relatively short lived greenhouse gas. Carbon Dioxide is less intense but lasts far longer.

The government has unveiled three alternative scenarios, and only one of them brings all greenhouse gases equally into the greenhouse fight.

The other two options give a softer run to methane than to carbon dioxide. Federated Farmers supports the latter option.

Sources: odt.co.nz/rural-life; radionz.co.nz

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