“It’s promising that the Government has adopted ACT’s long held policy of recognising on-farm sequestration for climate change. They should adopt the rest of our climate policy and take a practical approach to emissions that doesn’t hammer our agriculture sector,” says ACT’s Climate Change spokesperson Simon Court and Primary Industries spokesperson Mark Cameron.

“ACT has long been calling for the Government to start properly rewarding farmers for the sequestration that already occurs on their farms and stop making out as if they’re environmental villains,” says Mr Cameron.

“It’s good that the Government has finally seen sense on sequestration but they can’t use this as an excuse to continue with the burp tax. It will crush sheep and beef farming and increase global emissions as market share goes to less efficient countries. The burp tax will ultimately be a food tax as prices of meat and dairy rise as a result.

“It’s also about time they recognise that methane from livestock, as a short lived gas, has a very different effect on global temperatures compared to the near permanent effect of converting fossil fuel to carbon dioxide.”

“While they’re u-turning on policy they should also repeal the Zero Carbon Act and introduce a no-nonsense climate change plan which ties our carbon price to the prices paid by our top five trading partners,” says Mr Court.

“There is no need to carry on with the charade that the Zero Carbon Act is anything more than a costly excuse for more bureaucracy with no impact on emissions. Other parties should be prepared to have an honest conversation on climate change like ACT is.

"ACT proposes a realistic, no-nonsense climate change policy that matches our efforts with our trading partners’ with minimal bureaucracy. We should set a cap on total emissions in line with the actual reductions of our trading partners, then allow New Zealanders to import high quality foreign carbon credits so we pay the world price, not an artificial price.

“Other parties are more concerned about appearance of environmental progress than actual progress. ACT stands for real change in our climate policy, ensuring it is practical, effective, and not going to make life harder for New Zealanders."

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Mark Cameron