50 Shades of Green

Make a Submission on the Zero Carbon Bill

Make a public submission to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill. 

One of the most important things you can do to help stop the blanket planting of pine trees on productive food producing land is to submit your views on the Zero Carbon Bill.  Select Committee submissions close on 16 July.

The purpose of the Zero Carbon Bill is to establish a framework which New Zealand can use to develop clear, stable climate change policies in accord with the Paris Agreement

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Suggestion on points to include in your Submission to the Select Committee

  • A split gases target is preferred over a crude target for all gases that ignores the short half-life of methane.  
  • Methane targets must be net (can use trees to offset) and not gross (must make absolute reductions), as is the case in the Bill. The Bill’s net/gross approach directly contradicts the 2019 report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment. Currently the only way a farm can reduce its total methane emissions is to feed less forage to its livestock, which will harm (or forgo additional) production.
  • New Zealand is a very efficient producer of agricultural products. Any policy which reduces agricultural production in New Zealand will lead to greater production from less efficient nations, leading to increased global emissions. This is known as emissions leakage and must be avoided.
  • The Climate Change Commission should include widely supported representation from the agriculture sector and should make recommendations to Parliament, based on what is technologically possible without cutting production and harming rural communities. 
  • Climate change policy and legislation must recognise the importance of vibrant rural communities to New Zealand. All policies must fully account for the economic and social costs involved and they must seek to minimise any adverse impacts on rural communities, particularly from the conversion of pastoral farms into blanket forestry. 
  • Methane reduction targets must be based on the principle of ‘no additional warming’. If a figure must be given in the Bill, the best available research details that the following long-term methane reduction targets provide no additional warming, and are therefore immediately equivalent to zero carbon.
    a. Net 3% methane reduction target by 2030

    b. Net 10% methane reduction target by 2050

Additional resources to help with your submission