Greenpeace activists have this morning temporarily halted a massive conversion of forest land to dairy farming in Tokoroa, locking on to forest logging equipment and using rotary hoes to plough 5m-high letters reading ‘climate crime’ into fresh pasture.
The call for a halt to forest conversion for intensive dairy in light of the worsening global climate crisis is a timely reminder that one of the big issues at stake this election is not Gerry Brownlee’s share portfolio or Winston Peters’ preferred candidate for Monaco Consul, but the sustainable well-being of the planet. Industrial dairy farming and it’s expansion over the top of where forests previously grew is one of New Zealand’s single most significant contributors to climate change.
Sadly Greenpeace’s campaign continues to focus on the two old parties that refuse to address the problem rather than on the Greens who have consistently called for policies to limit the greenhouse emissions from our agricultural sector. For instance the Greens would place the liability for any increased emissions from the dairying and deer farming sectors with the large processing companies rather than with individual farmers. That means, if Fonterra processes 90% of our milk, they will be required to purchase enough Kyoto units to cover 90% of any increase in our emissions from dairying since 1990 and remit them to the government.
Photo credit: Greenpeace