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Source: Greenpeace

Fonterra, is New Zealand’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter and signalled its intention to set a target for reducing on-farm emissions at its annual meeting in November last year. Emissions from behind the farm gate is the dairy giant’s biggest source of emissions.
“Fonterra is clearly feeling the pressure from climate-concerned consumers and overseas markets. People both here in New Zealand and overseas want more action from big climate-polluting corporations,” says Greenpeace Aotearoa spokesperson Christine Rose. “But we’re sceptical of whether there is more to this announcement than optics.”
“When it comes to climate change, we already have more targets than an archery range. Targets, on their own, don’t lead to emissions cuts. They are all too often used by industry as an excuse for inaction and delay, as we’ve seen with the oil industry,” says Rose.
“Ultimately, when it comes to stopping climate pollution, it’s been proven time and again that the only effective strategy is Government regulation,” says Rose.
“We need the Government to cut big dairy’s climate pollution by phasing out synthetic nitrogen fertiliser and imported feed like palm kernel expeller, which are both key enablers of intensive dairy.
“Banning these inputs and instead supporting farmers to transition to more plant-based, regenerative organic farming is the most effective way to deal with on-farm emissions in the very short space of time we have left to address the climate crisis.”
The dairy industry is New Zealand’s worst climate polluter, with dairy cattle alone making up a quarter of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. The industry currently faces virtually no restrictions on its climate pollution.
“Fonterra, and other dairy corporations like it, are polluting our climate with superheating methane and nitrous oxide gases, worsening the climate crisis and contributing to the devastating extreme weather events we’re seeing around the world – from Cyclone Gabrielle here in Aotearoa to the fires in Maui, Hawai’i,” says Rose.
“This election will be a test of which political parties are truly serious about climate action. It’s time for all political leaders to commit to taking on New Zealand’s worst climate polluter – the dairy industry.”
Greenpeace, alongside more than forty other organisations, is calling on all political parties to adopt ten key actions for a safe and stable climate and healthy environment – including action on the dairy industry. These are outlined in a plan known as Climate Shift. More than 13,000 New Zealanders have signed on in support of the plan since it launched in June.