Business.Scoop » Agri-industry Climate Plan ‘He Waka Eke Noa’ An Absolute Lemon

Press Release – Greenpeace New Zealand

Greenpeace has dubbed the agri-industrys He Waka Eke Noa climate proposal an absolute lemon that will fail to cut climate pollution from NZs biggest polluter. Greenpeace Aotearoa lead agriculture campaigner Christine Rose says, “The government …

Greenpeace has dubbed the agri-industry’s He Waka Eke Noa climate proposal ‘an absolute lemon’ that will fail to cut climate pollution from NZ’s biggest polluter.

Greenpeace Aotearoa lead agriculture campaigner Christine Rose says, “The government needs to abandon the idea of industry self-regulation, bring agri-industry fully into the Emissions Trading Scheme and phase out the synthetic nitrogen fertiliser which drives agricultural emissions.

He Waka Eke Noa (HWEN) is a partnership between agri-industry organisations, including Federated Farmers, Beef & Lamb and Dairy NZ. The partnership’s draft proposal, released six months ago, was expected to result in a less than 1 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The final recommendations, according to HWEN, are ‘expected to lead to an estimated reduction in methane emissions of between 4 and 5.5%, depending on the availability of technology options.’

“This proposal by agribusiness is a ham-fisted attempt to cook the books with unproven technofixes which don’t stack up, and emissions reductions from freshwater reforms that some HWEN members – such as Federated Farmers – actively oppose,” says Rose.

“There are no actual policies that will cut agricultural climate pollution in this proposal, and that’s not surprising given it’s the polluters themselves that have proposed it. The Government should biff this sham plan in the bin.”

Agriculture makes up half of New Zealand’s emissions, which the science shows must be drastically reduced to keep in line with 1.5°C. Greenpeace says that if intensive agricultural emissions do not reduce, other sectors will have to pick up the slack.

“Under ‘He Waka Eke Noa’, it will take around 99 years for agribusiness to pay the same climate pollution price that the rest of us pay at the petrol pump. That leaves the rest of the New Zealand public carrying the dairy can.

“The government cannot accept this cooked and crooked He Waka Eke Noa proposal from the country’s worst climate polluters. It is not ok for the biggest polluting industry to write its own climate policy, invent its own measures of success, and attempt to manipulate the public into thinking responsible change is being made.

“The purpose of He Waka Eke Noa is clear: to obfuscate and delay real action on agricultural emissions. He Waka Eke Noa gives a free pass to intensive dairying, while penalising less intense farming operations like sheep and beef farms, and Māori owned farms, who will pay more than intensive dairy. The agri-industry partnership is like a cartel, protecting its own interests at the cost of everyone else, and the planet,” says Rose.”We all deserve a stable climate, healthy rivers, and safe drinking water. But industrial agriculture, especially intensive dairy, is condemning our rivers, climate and health to contamination, pollution and chaos. Action to reduce agricultural emissions means tackling the dairy industry – New Zealand’s worst climate polluter – and that means far fewer cows, it means cutting synthetic nitrogen fertiliser, and it means backing a shift to more plant-based regenerative organic farming.”

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