As Fonterra reported that its interim profits are up by 50%, two Greenpeace climate activists have been arrested in a protest which turned Fonterra’s Corporate HQ into a virtual flood zone.

Flood-damaged furniture and personal effects were piled in front of the company’s Auckland offices. The first-floor windows were covered with images that gave the impression that the building was underwater.

Fonterra’s interim profit reporting for 2023 released today means this could be the third year running that the dairy giant has made half a billion in profit. For the past two years it’s also been named New Zealand’s worst polluter.

“While many communities are carrying the cost of climate driven storms, Fonterra, New Zealand’s biggest climate polluter is reaping the profits,” says Greenpeace Aotearoa climate campaigner Christine Rose.

Greenpeace is calling on the Government to regulate the big dairy industry in order to protect the people of Aotearoa from flooding, storms and cyclones made worse by climate emissions.

NIWA says human-induced climate change increased the rainfall during Cyclone Gabrielle by 20-30%. The study indicates that these types of storms are 3-4 times more likely because of the climate crisis.

The big dairy industry sits outside the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) which is the Government’s central climate management tool. Fonterra faces virtually no consequences for its rampant climate pollution.

Greenpeace is calling for the government to phase out synthetic nitrogen fertiliser, which is a key enabler of intensive dairy farming. Greenpeace is also calling for the Government to support farmers to shift to more plant-based organic regenerative farming.

“Everyone deserves to live in a flourishing environment with a safe and stable climate, but big dairy’s greenhouse gas emissions are putting everything we know and love at risk,” says Rose.