Fighting Fonterra's Climate Crimes - again

Feature story - October 11, 2009
Over the weekend we renewed our call for John Key and dairy giant Fonterra to stop the import of palm based animal feed because of its devastating climate impact. Greenpeace activists painted a large "Fonterra Climate Crime" on a shipment from Indonesia in the Port of Taranaki.

Greenpeace has renewed its call for John Key and dairy giant Fonterra to stop the import of palm based animal feed because of its devastating climate impact, by painting a large slogan reading "Fonterra climate crime" on a shipment in the Port of Taranaki.

This follows last month's 12-hour blockade of a shipment carrying palm kernel expeller (PKE) at the Port of Tauranga. Once again the PKE was destined for Fonterra dairy farms.

Greenpeace is also calling on Fonterra to change its intensive farming model which forces farmers to provide more and more milk at the expense of the climate and the environment.

The continued importation of PKE is a clear example of how the NZ Government is misleading the international community about its commitment to tackling climate change and is not prepared to take serious steps to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. This is  despite deputy Prime Minister Bill English conceding palm kernel production had an impact on rainforest destruction.

The Government is arguing in international climate negotiations that New Zealand should get off lightly on tackling climate change due to its agricultural emissions, and on the basis that it's doing everything it can to reduce those emissions.  

Meanwhile it's overseeing the intensification of dairy farming, and Fonterra's contribution to rainforest clearance, even when palm-based animal feed is not needed on New Zealand farms. If John Key continues to stand by and allow this kind of hypocrisy, New Zealand's credibility in the upcoming Copenhagen negotiations could be damaged.

On one hand John Key is announcing New Zealand will drive a global alliance on research to cut greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture while on the other we have this shipment, destined for Fonterra's dairy farms, which has contributed to 364,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. That's equal to the annual emissions from 127,000 cars.

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