Comment: It is a concern that the Government has set biological emission targets for farming without any real thoughts on how these targets will be achieved, writes Federated Farmers Meat & Wool chairman Brent Mountfort.

Climate change is now on everyone's agenda.

More and more of our councils are declaring climate change emergencies, Auckland Council being one of the latest ones. What that means in real tangible action remains to be seen. Perhaps the introduction of emission targets for urban households?

More plastic bans - maybe focused on polyester sweaters and nylon carpet? Good luck to them.


It is a concern people in the Government have set biological emission targets for farming without any real thoughts on how these targets will be achieved. Will our urban counterparts have just the same rigmarole?

Read more from Federated Farmers here.

The science around climate change is still developing. The real concern for dry stock farmers is we could be forced into simply reducing stock numbers without any evidence that move will help reduce global warming, just to satisfy a particular political agenda.

Also, treating climate change solely on its own is not the right way to go. Biodiversity and water quality are also an issue. They are all inter-related and therefore need to be addressed at the same time.

Simply planting New Zealand in pine trees might help the bean counters balance the Emissions Trading Scheme books, but it will cause more problems than it will solve.

My concern is all three environmental issues are very complex and need a lot more money invested in the science around addressing them.

I worry that with our modern day politics, which is more about public relations than doing the right thing, that we could end up doing more damage than good.

Our rural communities are going to come under more pressure as hill farms are sold to overseas buyers to plant pine trees.


Farmers accept they are living within climate change. What we need though is trustworthy advice that will make a difference. A tangible difference.

The fact is that if we do not find a reliable alternative to burning fossil fuels, temperatures will continue to increase.

Nothing we do in the methane area will stop that.