Friday, October 21, 2022

Climate Change: Why farmers should pay their way

Newsroom's Marc Daalder has a look today at agricultural emissions, and concludes that pricing livestock pollution is reasonable, rooted in science and will see global greenhouse emissions fall. But that bit that really gets me is right at the front:

Just 1.16 percent of the population are farmers, but they're behind 5.5 percent of gross domestic product, 48 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and more than 70 percent of the global warming New Zealand is currently responsible for.
So the average farmer emits more than 40 times as much as the average kiwi, and has created sixty times as much warming. And yet, they feel they should be getting a free ride. It's rural entitlement, pure and simple.

Pricing agricultural emissions will lead to reductions in farm output, as dirty producers shut down. Good, because they need to. 5.5% of the economy producing 48% of the emissions is inefficient and unsustainable, and we are better off without it (and no, it won't lead to "leakage"; this is just more scaremongering from a dirty industry trying to deter and delay action).

The 85% of us who live in cities pay for every gram of carbon we produce. We are sick of subsidising dirty, inefficient rurals to destroy the planet. It is long past time farmers stood on their own feet without the support of subsidised emissions. Its time they paid their way.