The CLIMATE CRIME message carved into fresh dairy pasture on newly cleared forest land.

Early this morning Greenpeace activists took action to stop corporate dairy's assault on New Zealand forests and the climate.

Climate Crime

In the central North Island huge swathes of forest are being cleared to make way for industrial dairy mega farms.

Well before dawn this morning, in the forest near Tokoroa, several activists halted the sharp end of the logging operation by locking themselves to heavy equipment.

Meanwhile, on nearby land recently converted from forest to dairy pasture, another team have used rotary hoes to write CLIMATE CRIME in 5m-high letters into the fresh pasture.

We are calling for the main political parties to commit to an immediate halt to forest conversion for intensive dairy in the face of the worsening global climate crisis.

Greenpeace activists locked on to logging equipment in Kinleith Forest to highlight the conversion of forestry land to intensive dairy. (c) GREENPEACE/MARPLE


New Zealand's agriculture sector already emits 50 per cent of our greenhouse gas emissions - more than double the emissions of all transport combined. Deforestation releases huge amounts of greenhouse gas. We estimate that annual emissions from the two largest corporate conversion projects in the Central North Island alone equate to the annual emissions from the Huntly coal fired power station.

Forests trap carbon beneath the soil and in trees. Like a sponge, they soak up carbon dioxide gas from the atmosphere - the main greenhouse gas contributing to climate change. Dairy conversion of forestry land functions as a 'double whammy' on the climate destroying forests and replacing them with one of the most greenhouse gas intensive forms of land use.

This chainsaw massacre and the ongoing expansion of corporate, intensive dairy farming in New Zealand has got to stop.

Stay tuned for updates.

The press release and related documents are here

More images here .

Video: Agriculture and Climate