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Farmers: Joint effort needed on emissions

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 19/10/2016

Federated Farmers says New Zealand will have to work together as a nation to make the significant changes needed to cut agricultural emissions.

The organisation was responding to Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Jan Wright's report on agricultural greenhouse gases.

Climate change spokesman Anders Crofoot said the report was a useful contribution to the ongoing discussion the country needed to have about finding ways to reduce such emissions.

He said the report pointed out that, over the past 25 years, emissions from agriculture have increased by 15 per cent, while emissions from road transport rose by 71 per cent and industrial processing by 45 per cent.

"To achieve the massive change required to reduce agricultural emissions, we are going to have to work together as a nation," he said.

"We are going to have to look for solutions based on new technologies, smart science and good research."

Dr Wright's report said there was no silver bullet to curbing agriculture emissions and the country needed to start on the available steps now, including planting more trees.

New Zealand has signed up to the Paris climate change agreement, which commits it to reducing emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

Agriculture accounts for about 48 per cent of the country's greenhouse gases.

Forest and Bird said hill country farmers and iwi stood to win if the government acted on the report's recommendation to restore a million hectares of native forest.

"Our existing native forests store the equivalent of 75 years of carbon emissions," climate advocate Adelia Hallett said.

"Restoring native forests will have other environmental benefits too, including more habitat for our native species, improved water quality because of less pollution from farms, and less erosion."

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