It is no secret New Zealand is known for its clean, green image.

It is something we take pride in and something we must protect.

It's great to see the Government's announcement of its latest target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels.

This is a fair and ambitious target that reflects the importance we as New Zealanders place on the environment.


The next step will be for the Government to implement policies that will help reach this target in a practical way, without adding excessive costs to households and the economy.

New Zealand accounts for just 0.15 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

Despite this, we ought to continue doing our bit.

The target for 2030 offers a sensible contribution that also takes into account the uncertainties still facing New Zealand.

As with any country working to reduce its carbon footprint, New Zealand's transition to a low-emissions economy will be a long road. It will require us to monitor, recalibrate and adapt as new technologies continue to emerge.

In New Zealand we generate 80 per cent of our electricity from renewable sources.

That's a great number in itself, but it means it isn't as easy for us as a country to make sweeping changes to our energy generation sources as some other countries could, when their levels of renewable generation aren't nearly as high as ours.

To date we've met all our climate change targets, in line with existing international rules.


This has been achieved through a combination of domestic emission reductions, forestry removals and purchasing of international carbon offsets.

Our new target will be submitted to the United Nations in December along with other countries concluding negotiation of a new climate change agreement.

When implementing the targets it is important to take a balanced approach that doesn't unfairly affect the agricultural industry.

The best approach to achieve domestic reductions at an affordable cost is through cost-effective mitigation technology.

To date, the Government has already invested $45 million in agriculture research to develop technological solutions such as the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases.

As a rural community with 6477 people working in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector, we won't have to worry about emission reducing policies having an adverse effect on jobs or businesses.

It is great to see the Government take a viable approach to our target for 2030.

The best policies are the ones that work for all New Zealanders, which includes individuals, businesses and interest groups.

-Alastair Scott is MP for Wairarapa

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