Federated Farmers has welcomed the Government’s public consultation on climate change, ahead of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, in December.
Anders Crofoot, the federation’s climate change spokesman, said it was important for the public to be part of the discussion in setting New Zealand’s post-2020 climate change target.
A critical element to having that discussion was that everyone understood the issues and trade-offs involved in setting our contribution.
New Zealand’s economy was driven by exports with 73 percent of our merchandise exports coming from the primary industries, worth $35.2 billion, Crofoot said.
UN projections showed the global population peaking at 11 billion by 2075 and FAO estimates show agricultural output must increase by 60 percent by 2050 to meet this growth.
“While New Zealand cannot feed the world we will play our part. It would be irresponsible of us to squander or underutilise our resources.
“Aside from being a net food exporter in a world of increasing food shortage, New Zealanders can be very proud that our farmers are among the most carbon efficient in the world. This puts us at an advantage on a global scale both scientifically and economically.
“Through our commitments with the Global Research Alliance on agricultural greenhouse gases and the Palmerston North based Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium (PGGRC) our country’s leadership extends beyond being an efficient producer of quality food and puts us on the world stage in our ability to reduce emissions.”
Farmers and their investment in science through levy bodies had reduced their emissions per unit of meat and milk produced by 1.3 percent a year since 1990, Crofoot said.
Its scientific and innovative advances could be exported to the rest of the world’s primary producers.
Continued investment in institutes like these would ensure New Zealand’s climate change commitments were met while growing a strong and vibrant economy.