Federated Farmers acting President calls for more 'realistic' climate emissions targets

Federated Farmers acting President calls for more 'realistic' climate emissions targets

With Fieldays getting underway on Wednesday, Acting President of Federated Farmers Wayne Langford told REX host Dominic George he would rate the National Party's proposed climate policy five stars.

"It's good to see that finally our opposition party is putting up a bit of opposition to the Government and some of the challenges that farmers have been facing for a number of years," he said.

"That's not to say that we are working with National but it's just good to see that they are doing some work in this space and we're hoping to see a response from the current government."

Recent news reports suggest the climate action partnership between the government and the rural sector He Waka Eke Noa has pretty much stalled with suggestions that it may never again see the light of day.

While Langford said they haven't heard much about it since a pre-Christmas announcement, it looks like the upcoming election is kicking it back into gear.

"People have asked us are He Waka Eke Noa dead? I say no it's not dead but it has been pretty sleepy for the last six months.

"They are looking to get a result or firm up some plans around what we are going to do around emissions pricing and so it is firing back into life now."

He told George the current emissions targets just aren't realistic and if the government want farmers to get on board and aim for the targets they set, the targets need to be reviewed and made more achievable.

"At the moment targets are unrealistic, they're ambitious and they are not scientifically based."

Langford said the farming community is progressing steadily towards more realistic targets without needing pricing and believes once more realistic targets are set there is a conversation to be had about whether pricing is actually even needed.

"Give farmers a hope of hitting them."

"Particularly when you consider how far along we've come in the last five years, farmers have understood what they are doing on their farms, what they can do to reduce emissions and improve the efficiency of what they are doing.

"I can only see us taking even greater steps forward and achieving those targets in the future."

With such a strong focus on how rural New Zealand can reduce its emissions and the work that Langford has seen farmers do so far, he is confident that Aoteroa will continue moving forward to get to where it needs to be in the future when it comes to climate control.