“The Government’s discussion document, ‘Managing exotic afforestation incentives,’ is a welcome and overdue opening to the concerns of Rural New Zealand,” says ACT Rural Spokesperson Mark Cameron....
“The Government’s discussion document, ‘Managing exotic afforestation incentives,’ is a welcome and overdue opening to the concerns of Rural New Zealand,” says ACT Rural Spokesperson Mark Cameron.
“For too long, rural New Zealand has not been listened to, in fact we’ve been treated with contempt by the urban political left. We’ve said for years that carbon farming is destroying communities and creating environmental problems for years to come.
“The document considers whether planting even more pine trees should be rewarded by the ETS. An environmental policy that subsidised environmental harm is bad news. ACT says environmental policy is supposed to prevent harm to the environment, not subsidise it.
“The Government should go further. Here are three ideas from ACT to stop New Zealand being turned into the world’s largest pine forest.
“The Government should start properly rewarding farmers for the sequestration that already occurs on their farms.
“Government should level the playing field by ensuring the Overseas Investment Act treats carbon farming and other land uses on a level playing field. We are in favour of foreign investment, New Zealand needs investment capital, but creating a special exemption for foreign investors who want to cover New Zealand in pine trees was the wrong place to start.
“Then it could let New Zealanders redeem carbon credits from around the world, effectively allowing New Zealanders to pay people to plant trees anywhere in the world to offset their emissions, instead of just here. ACT MP and Climate spokesperson Simon Court has a Member's Bill that would allow exactly that ready to be debated right now.
“It’s a welcome development that the Government is listening to rural New Zealanders about a long held concern, if they want to keep listening, ACT has lots more ideas for them.”