Federated Farmers is worried New Zealanders simply don't understand how much better we are at low-emissions farming than other countries.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on climate change and land, released last week, discusses the available science around the implications of changing land use and its impact on climate change.

"What the report doesn't do, is tell people to stop eating meat and dairy," says Federated Farmers climate change spokesperson Andrew Hoggard.

"In fact it says the opposite. It highlights the value of a low-emissions diet, which includes protein from animal products.


"But listening to the media stories on this report in New Zealand today, you'd think that was all it focused on."

The report says: "Balanced diets featuring plant-based foods, such as coarse grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, and animal-sourced food produced sustainably in low greenhouse gas emission systems, present major opportunities for adaptation to and limiting climate change."

"We are starting to get really worried at Feds that New Zealanders are thinking that our best way out of our climate change dilemma is to cut back on farming animals," says Andrew.

"This simply isn't the case. This is not the way to alleviate our 'carbon guilt'. What we should be doing is trying to figure out how we get the rest of the world to farm like we do." The report highlights the impact deforestation is having around the world, where countries are essentially swapping native forest for food cultivation.

"This means those countries are trying to prioritise feeding their own people. And that's being done at the expense of the environment," says Andrew.

"Here in New Zealand, we have the opposite issue. We are arguing about where to plant more trees, not where to cut them down.

"Only 10 per cent of our food production feeds our own people. We are essential to the diets of many people, in many other countries. And we do it in an extremely emissions-efficient way."