Emissions cows

We have until 24th November to make submissions on the government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, which you can read about and make submissions on here: https://consult.environment.govt.nz/climate/emissions-reduction-plan/

Even though NZ’s emissions are mostly due to agriculture, very little is said about it in the current plan and there doesn’t seem to be a clear path to reducing the number of animals. There is a quick submission process where you can easily suggest some options the government can take. It need not take very long, or if you have more time, there is a longer process you can use.

There are 3 questions in the short submission. Here are a few bullet points you may like to consider making in your submission:

1. What do you think are the most important things to be considered in the development of the emissions reduction plan?

Given that 49% of NZ’s emissions are from animal agriculture, it gets very little mention, while transport, which is only 22% gets lots of space and questions.

Behaviour changes have been implemented by the government for Covid and we must have encouragement to change other behaviours. Globally people are choosing to reduce the amount of animal products they consume, a trend that is likely to continue.

NZ has already allowed its waterways to be heavily polluted by animal agriculture, cut down forests, drained wetlands and water tables in dry areas to sustain this unsustainable system. This cannot be allowed to continue, we must use our resources far more wisely, and NZ is blessed to have more than most countries.

2. What new initiatives would you include in an emissions reduction plan for Aotearoa?

It is vital that current animal farmers are encouraged to diversify and transition towards crop growing and horticulture.

There has to be a plan to reduce the ruminant herds in NZ, in particular the dairy herd, which is widely recognised by many organisations as having #toomanycows. This has to be a priority and so far government has sidestepped this issue.

Crops could be grown as boundaries by waterways, allowing them to recover from nearby dairying, whilst at the same time providing an income.

3. What do you see are the main opportunities and impacts of emissions reduction policies in Aotearoa?

The main opportunities are having a planet on which human life can thrive in optimal conditions, as opposed to a world of increasing storms, alternating floods and droughts, bush fires etc being common occurances.

We only have 8 years left to make effective changes to keep climate change to a minimum. It is already warmer, the climate chaos is already happening and this is the result of previous years of emissions.

Our global emissions have increased substantially since the 1990s so the worst is yet to come. The next 30 years will see more and worsening climate chaos.

You can read our full submission here