Thursday, June 13, 2019

Climate Change: National commits to failure

National released a policy document on the primary sector today, in which they commit to ensuring farmers do not have to do anything to reduce emissions:

On climate change, National recommends farmers remain outside the ETS, while critics such as Greenpeace have charged dairying in particular has so far been given a free pass for climate pollution.

National said it had concerns with the proposed methane target of 24-47 per cent reduction by 2050, recently set by the Coalition Government.

"In our view it is exactly the sort of decision the newly formed scientific Climate Commission should provide advice on, rather than politicians cherry picking numbers."

Remaining outside the ETS means that farmers face absolutely no incentive to reduce their emissions. Not facing any target does the same. And the result will be that emissions will continue to rise, making it impossible for us to meet any credible climate change target. Its basicly a commitment to burn the planet so their dirty, polluting supporters can keep on profiting for a few more years. But its also a commitment to unfairness, for the majority of us who live in cities and who pay for our emissions already to subsidise a tiny rural minority so they can keep on polluting. It is neither moral nor sensible.

As for the contention that farmers don't have any way to reduce emissions, sure they do: they can reduce their herd sizes. That's not the end of the world, and there's some evidence its more profitable (in that farmers don't have to waste money on fertiliser and supplementary feed to support higher intensity). If they don't want to do that, then they deserve to go out of business.