INDEPENDENT NEWS

Fed Farmers urged to take climate change seriously

Published: Tue 20 Nov 2001 03:32 PM
Tuesday, 20 November 2001 Media Statement
Fed Farmers urged to take climate change seriously
Energy Minister Pete Hodgson today urged Federated Farmers to maximise their benefits by taking a constructive and strategic approach to climate change issues.
In a speech to a Federated Farmers national council meeting on climate change Mr Hodgson, Convenor of the Ministerial Group on Climate Change, said the Government’s intention to ratify the Kyoto Protocol had powerful reasons behind it and farmers should weigh them carefully.
“In the longer run, the effects of climate change on agriculture are predicted to be overwhelmingly negative,” Mr Hodgson said. “More extreme weather, alone, would ensure that – let alone the water, habitat and biosecurity threats. Doing nothing would mean sleepwalking into these hazards. For a country as dependent on primary production as this one, that would be nothing short of negligence.”
“We still buy our place in the developed world with grass. On a global scale we contribute next to nothing to the emissions that cause climate change. But we stand to suffer economically from the effects much more than the more heavily industrialised western nations.”
Mr Hodgson said the standard of Federated Farmers’ contribution to the climate change debate so far was disappointing.
“The focus has been uniquely on the costs of action. There is a curious reluctance to consider the costs of inaction, or the benefits of a constructive response.
“The costs of inaction are an open cheque. Think about the costs of floods and droughts in this country, think about those millions or hundreds of millions of dollars, and then think about multiplying them. Think about the $120 million a year we already spend on biosecurity. Think about the costs created by lower rainfall, salinisation and depleted aquifers.
“Clearly the farming sector will have to bear its share of the costs of responding to climate change, just as it will have its share of the benefits. The Government’s interest is in getting the balance right. Federated Farmers can help achieve that by contributing serious arguments and analysis — and I invite you to start doing so.”
ENDS

Next in New Zealand politics

Gordon Campbell on a new book on the leaky homes scandal
By: Gordon Campbell
Review finds NZTA road safety regulation failings
By: RNZ
Climate Change Commission Chair-designate announced
By: New Zealand Government
Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
By: New Zealand Government
Police should not have pursued youths on Auckland motorway
By: Independent Police Conduct Authority
Locked-in care is a ‘hard place to be happy’
By: Office of the Children's Commissioner
Campaigner welcomes removal of racist refugee restrictions
By: Murdoch Stephens
Sroubek report confirms Minister made wrong decision
By: New Zealand National Party
NZTA to refocus on safety following review
By: New Zealand Government
NZTA to adopt "safety first"?
By: Movement
NZ roads will never cope with heavier trucks
By: Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre
National Party open to higher methane targets
By: BusinessDesk
NZ to go Dutch to battle climate change
By: BusinessDesk
Small end of town needs to chip in on climate change - Carr
By: BusinessDesk
Carr named to chair Climate Change Commission
By: BusinessDesk
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media