The Zero Carbon Bill has returned from the Select Committee without science-based changes:
Controversial biological methane targets in the Government’s much-touted Zero Carbon Bill remain unchanged, despite strong lobbying from both environmentalists and farmers.
After months of scrutiny from MPs from both sides of the political aisle, the environmental select committee today released its much-anticipated report on the Zero Carbon Bill.
It shows the legislation’s original commitment to reducing biological methane – greenhouse emission from cows and sheep – by between 24-47 per cent below 2017 levels by 2050, remains in place.
This is despite intense lobbying for the targets to be fixed, not at a range, at either 24 or 47 per cent. . .
National is not happy. Its environmental spokesman Scott Simpson said not nearly enough of the bill had changed. . . .
Simpson said the 24-47 range not changing created uncertainty for industry players.
“It is too high given the current level of technology available to farmers to make meaningful reductions to biological methane.”
He said currently, the only way farmers can reduce this type of biological methane is by reducing their stock count. . .
Reducing stock numbers would come a high financial and social cost for at best no environmental gain and at worse a loss as our less efficient competitors increase production to fill the gap.
It also goes against the Paris Accord which stipulates climate change mitigation shouldn’t come at the expense of food production.
The Government unveiled the Zero Carbon Bill in May this year with much fanfare; Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it was a “landmark” piece of legislation.
“New Zealanders have demanded it – and today we delivered it.”
Do those who have demanded it understand the consequences and the cost of undermining food security in this way?
Do they understand they are demanding significant cuts in export income with all the hardship that will follow that?
Do they understand they are demanding steep increases in the price of food?
All the government is delivering is a flawed Bill that will take us on a pathway to misery.