Greenpeace Aotearoa is calling on Prime Minister-elect Christopher Luxon to commit to real climate action, as reports reveal New Zealand is now at risk of not meeting its Paris Agreement emissions reduction targets.
“It’s not enough for New Zealand to have targets – we need real action to meet them if we are to prevent further catastrophic climate change,” says Greenpeace campaigner Christine Rose.
“The reason that New Zealand is not on track to meet its emissions reduction targets is because the country’s major climate polluters have been left unchecked for years. Fonterra has been named New Zealand’s worst climate polluter for three years running, and still there is no real measure to cut dairy emissions.
“New Zealanders are already paying the price of climate inaction, with increasing cyclones, storms, and droughts. Failure to reduce emissions will also mean that we have to spend taxpayers’ money on ineffective overseas offsets in order to meet those targets.
“What’s even more concerning is that Prime Minister-elect, Christopher Luxon has committed to rolling back measures designed to cut climate pollution – from pricing agricultural emissions, the ban on new offshore oil and gas exploration to subsidised public transport.
“Our leaders should be doing everything in their power to stop the climate crisis from worsening. The commitments that Luxon has made on the campaign trail will do the opposite,” says Rose.
“New Zealanders are concerned about climate change, and we want our leaders to take real action. That means continuing the ban on new offshore oil and gas exploration and regulating the country’s worst climate polluter, intensive dairy.”
Greenpeace is calling on the Government to take four key actions to cut climate pollution from the intensive dairy industry, outlined in its ‘Climate Action Plan’. These are to phase out synthetic nitrogen fertiliser and imported feed, support farmers to shift to more plant-based regenerative organic agriculture and halve the dairy herd.
Synthetic nitrogen fertiliser is responsible for 6% of the country’s climate pollution and also enables the intensive dairy industry to support a dairy herd size of approximately six million cows. Dairy cattle alone are responsible for 23.5% of New Zealand’s climate pollution.