Thursday, 05 May 2022 07:55

Stop restricting food production

Written by  Peter Buckley
New Zealand joined with more than 105 countries to launch the Global Methane Pledge at COP26 in Glasgow five months ago. New Zealand joined with more than 105 countries to launch the Global Methane Pledge at COP26 in Glasgow five months ago.

OPINION: Under the Paris Accord on climate change, Article 2 (b) states:

The aim of the agreement is to have a stronger response to the danger of climate change; it seeks to enhance the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change through:

(a) Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, recognising that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change;

(b) Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production;

(c) Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.

The Minister for Climate Change James Shaw at the COP 26 conference in Glasgow said there was now new methane cuts involved in joining global pledge, but the Government's primary tool to reduce agricultural methane is a pricing scheme slated to take effect in 2025, in a partnership with the farming industry, called He Waka Eke Noa. It creates a system to measure and price on-farm emissions.

My question to this government and other governments around the world twisting words to limit food production to achieve an unsustainable goal while making a food shortage for the world; why are they not taking into account Article 2 (b) of the Paris Accord?

Why aren't DairyNZ, Beef+Lamb, and other sectors saying to the respective governments and ministries to take notice of article 2 (b) of the Paris Accord?

The Paris Accord is very clear that protecting food production does not mention only for developing countries. In fact article 2(b) did specifically only apply to developing countries then they would be will be worse off (possible famine) if we restrict food production in any way.

New Zealand produces and exports enough food to feed 40 million people and we are acknowledged worldwide as one of the most environmentally secure producers around the globe.

If we reduce our production then the shortfall from such reductions will be taken up by other countries that may not have the same environmental standards and this may not only have an effect on food supplies for other countries but also may cause an overall global increase in GHG emissions.

Our sector representative bodies such as DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb, and other sectors should be lobby government and the individual ministries to take notice of article 2 (b) of the Paris Accord and protect our ability to produce food?

Peter Buckley is co-chairman of the Primary Land User Group (PLUG).

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