If we accept the science

Beef + Lamb New Zealand is calling for a science-based changes to the Carbon Zero Bill:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) is urging the Government to adopt a science-based approach to changes to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill so the country can meet its Paris Agreement commitments while ensuring a more equitable framework for all sectors of the economy.

Jeremy Baker, B+LNZ Chief Insight Officer, says the organisation’s submission is a pragmatic one that reflects the sector’s commitment to being net carbon neutral by 2050, the latest science on methane’s contribution to climate change, and the principles of fairness and equity that mean no one sector is carrying proportionally more of the load than any other.  

The Bill as it stands contradicts a lot of the science, ignores the economic and social impacts and places a far bigger burden on agriculture than other sectors.

“From the start, B+LNZ has consistently called for a science-based approach and that all sectors need to play their part equally in meeting New Zealand’s commitments under the Paris Agreement. 

“What we’ve put forward in our submission reflects the rapidly evolving science on methane as well as the reality that achieving gross reductions in fossil fuel emissions will be what ultimately makes a difference in getting global warming under control.”

B+LNZ’s submission also reflects recent survey data from UMR which indicated 69 percent of New Zealanders support farmers having access to the same tools as fossil fuel emitting industries to offset their emissions, such as using trees.

Science supports planting trees to off-set short-lived biological gases like methane from stock. It does not support forestry for longer-lived emissions from fossil fuels.

B+LNZ’s proposed targets for the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill are:

  • 10 percent gross reduction in methane by 2050; 
  • If further reductions in methane are required, these should not exceed a further 12 percent net reduction by 2050; 
  • The development of gross reduction targets for carbon dioxide 2050; 
  • Net zero carbon dioxide by 2050; and 
  • Net zero nitrous oxide by 2050.
  • B+LNZ is seeking climate change policy frameworks, including greenhouse gas targets, that enable individuals and communities to build resilience across all their well-beings, including ecosystems, community and cultural wellbeing, and economic wellbeing. 

While climate policy and adaptation pathways need to provide for clear and timebound outcomes to enable business and community certainty, including investment certainty; they will also need to provide carefully crafted frameworks to enable the flexibility and innovation required to meet those outcomes. 

If we accept the science about climate change we must accept the science that shows the best way for dealing with it.

Anything else is not sustainable economically, socially or environmentally.

Beef + Lamb’s  full submission is here.

Submissions close today – you can make one here.

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