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Federated Farmers Gets Runs On The Board

10 November 2011

NEW ZEALAND - Federated Farmers is celebrating the first policy results from its 2011 Manifesto. A National-led government, if elected, is set to amend the Climate Change Response Act 2002 while water is placed front and centre of the economy and the environment.

“It would have been scientifically and economically wrong to force animal biological emissions into the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS),” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President.

“With no realistic means for farmers to mitigate biological emissions, Federated Farmers wanted the ETS amended beyond the current 2015 entry date for biological emissions.

“The reality is that no country is following us on biological emissions meaning our farmers would face costs less efficient producers wouldn’t. As the climate is meant to be about global outcomes, it ultimately becomes an own goal. Then again, for some groups, the ETS seems to be less about the climate and more about revenue."

“If we are to lead by example and Federated Farmers hopes we do, then it ought to be about helping feed seven billion human beings; a number that will be close to 10 billion by 2050. That is the greatest challenge we face globally."

“National’s ETS policy also confirms what we’ve been publicly told in the past. It seems the Climate Change Response Act 2002 will be amended with mitigation tools and global take-up, tests for the entry of biological emissions."

“This is not to say nothing is happening, quite the contrary. It’s how come agriculture has been reducing carbon per unit of product by 1.3 per cent each year without an ETS."

“There is strong commitment to pastoral greenhouse gas research, which Federated Farmers supports as the long-term solution. While these tools are still some way off, New Zealand is leading the world’s research effort to deliver them,” Mr Wills concluded.

Another key plank in Federated Farmers 2011 Manifesto is water and pledges from a National-led government are close to what the Federation is seeking.

“Water is vital to New Zealand economically and environmentally and we’ve seen both addressed by policy announcements,” adds Ian Mackenzie, Federated Farmers spokesperson on water, the environment and the Resource Management Act (RMA).

“Federated Farmers believes the Environment Reporting Bill offers some positives, especially in developing and implementing consistent water quality measures.

“We cannot measure progress for the better on the tools we currently have. The Environment Reporting Bill could well help us cut through many of the assumed impacts that agriculture has on the environment."

“We also welcome National picking up on Federated Farmers belief in collaborative processes for resource management and the need for some more streamlining."

“It’s also no secret that we do wish to see compensation provisions introduced into the RMA."

“Compensation for the loss of property rights is one crucial area where we welcome the Act Party’s RMA and rural policies. We hope it will be able to exert policy influence in this regard. Property rights are absolutely fundamental to a progressive and a dynamic economy,” Mr Mackenzie concluded.

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