Agriculture Minister is missing in (in)action while climate change warriors harry NZ’s dairy industry

The  world stands  on  the  brink of a  food crisis worse  than  any seen  in the last  50 years, the  UN has  warned  as  it  urged  governments to  act swiftly to avoid  disaster.

So what  is the  Ardern  government  doing about  it?   Shouldn’t   it  be working  to  ramp  up  food production?  After  all,  NZ   prides  itself  on being  among  the world’s  leaders  in producing  high-quality  food.

Instead,  Climate  Change  Minister  James  Shaw is celebrating  being  “ ambitious” in tackling  what he calls the climate crisis with,  he   says,

“ … necessary rule changes that will incentivise NZ’s biggest polluters to invest in the transition to a clean, climate-friendly economy”.

This  includes putting a price  on  farming  emissions.   Shaw  reckons it’s great that this puts NZ further ahead on climate action than many other parts of the world.

But, as Federated  Farmers pointed out, there has been no analysis undertaken since the pandemic on how sweeping changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will impact the economy and NZ’s  international competitiveness.

Surely,  if  the world  is facing  a food  crisis, the  government in  NZ  would be doing  what Britain  is  planning,  with the  legalisation of  gene-editing of crops?

Scientists  say gene-editing  offers the chance to  develop and grow hardier,  more  nutritious  varieties.  The legislation   would also  open the  door to  gene-editing of  animals.

And,  if  the  government  is focussed  on   NZ  “uniting for  recovery”,    wouldn’t  it  be  leading the  way in creating an overarching water strategy, as  Irrigation NZ  has called for, to guide planning and ensure further water storage development?

Where  does  the  agriculture  sector    figure    in the  government’s   post-pandemic   recovery  plan?   If  Agriculture Minister Damien  O’Connor has one,   it  has yet to be spelled out.

And  he  doesn’t  seem  to have  much  to   say  when  NZ  dairy   farmers   come  under attack, as they did   last week,  when the  European-based Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy said Fonterra’s export-led strategy had led to rising emissions and an economic crisis for NZ’s dairy producers.

Emissions from NZ’s agricultural sector had risen by 12% since 1990 with the doubling of its dairy herd and a 600% increase in fertiliser use, according to Shefali Sharma, report author and European director at IATP.

Greenpeace campaigner Gen Toop said the  IATP report should be a wake-up call for Fonterra and the government.

It  was  left to  Fonterra   to rebut the   contention.  NZ dairy farmers had reduced on-farm emissions intensity by about 20% over the past 25 years, with the strongest improvements from 2007 to 2016 according to  Fonterra director of global sustainability, Carolyn Mortland.

She said the IATP report contained several inaccuracies:

“For example, the Fonterra emissions are significantly over-reported at 44m tonnes of C02-equivalent rather than 22m tonnes.”

In contrast, a comprehensive and peer-reviewed report released earlier this year said the carbon footprint of NZ’s on-farm milk supply was less than one-third of the global average and up to 30% lower than the greenhouse gas footprints of European and North American milk production.

“A litre of milk produced in NZ creates 0.91 kilograms of CO2 emissions, compared to the global average of 2.5kg.”

While the IATP report argued emissions intensity improvements were “greenwashing”, Mortland said the measurements were important for allowing nutrition to be delivered with a lower emissions footprint.

As  Point of Order  sees  it,  the  dairy  industry  should be in  the forefront  of the government’s  post-pandemic  recovery  plan.

Instead   it comes  under constant  attack from  the climate change  warriors   who seem  unable to  grasp   how  fragile   the economy has  become,  nor  how  important  the industry’s  foreign  exchange earnings  have become, in  sustaining  the country’s  living standards.


6 thoughts on “Agriculture Minister is missing in (in)action while climate change warriors harry NZ’s dairy industry

  1. Climate change bla bla bla.
    New Zealand has just imprisoned itself as a Plague Island. Not free for trade closed for business.
    I don’t think anyone is going to hassle farmers with climate change crap for a very long time.


  2. The Green movement was long ago taken over by neo-Marxists promoting anti-trade, anti-globalisation and anti civilisation policies according to Dr Patrick Moore, the founder of Greenpeace. This government is well on the way to destroying the New Zealand economy. Well done Mr Shaw.


  3. Every country in the world is JEALOUS of how we produce milk and how we do so safely and easy on the environment. You will never get a foreign country support primary producers in our country when the government is hell bent on killing farmers mentally and physically by trying to follow rules that other countries make and can’t even follow themselves, personally if we have a food crisis farmers will be the only ones capable of growing their own, there is no mandate to have to supply others. Had a gutsful, thanks for a chance to voice it, Cheers Terry

    Liked by 1 person

  4. NZ gov’t,including the green party,are so hell bent on being first at everything,M,Bovis,carbon,covid eradication that they aren’t realising we are going to be first,first to have no tourists,first to have no farming,first to send this country broke in 175 yrs.
    They are a bunch of morons.

    Liked by 1 person

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