“The world will thank Jacinda Ardern for today’s He Waka Eke Noa announcement, they’ll be thanking her for destroying New Zealand’s farming industry, the most efficient in the world,” says ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson Mark Cameron.

“Estimates made from the Government’s own documents show that these proposals could see a 33 per cent increase on our current sheep meat emissions as that production is shifted offshore to less climate efficient nations.

“Only Labour and the Greens could devise a climate change policy that inflicts massive economic damage to the economy and increases global emissions.

“Farmers are the victims of the Government’s obsession with overseas plaudits, the Prime Minister wants to go on the world stage and say that New Zealand is the first country to price agricultural emissions. She won’t admit that her government’s proposal only leads to more emissions.

“The point of He Waka Eke Noa was to help farmers to enter into an emissions pricing scheme with confidence in both better technological and productivity outcomes and reductions in overall emissions. Instead, Labour and the Greens have devised a scheme that will drive up global emissions and inflict massive economic damage to New Zealand.

“Under the proposals most sheep and beef farmers would be better off cashing up by selling their land for permanent carbon storage. Many meat processors will shut down, collapsing many small regional towns.

“Kiwi farmers are the most emissions-efficient in the world and they’re not praised enough for this, but there’s more work to be done and ACT recognises that emissions reductions are key to the sector’s future.

“ACT has always said the focus should be on working with the primary sector on more accurate measurement and management frameworks for methane emissions and ensuring there are no barriers to the uptake of new emissions reduction technologies.

“This means taking into account that short-lived gases like methane and long-lived gases like CO2 have different warming impacts, as currently climate change experts from the New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute at Victoria University estimate the Government is overstating the impact of methane by up to four times.

ACT would:

  • Make offshore methane-mitigation technologies available in New Zealand
  • Reform Hazardous Substances laws to reduce barriers to genetic technologies that reduce emissions
  • Recognise all carbon sequestration in emissions calculations
  • Adopt an emissions target recognising methane’s true contribution to warming

“These proposals are a hammer blow to rural communities for no benefit to the environment. ACT supports practical emissions reduction policy instead.”

Press Contact

[email protected]