The Labour Party is continuing its full-frontal attack on regional New Zealand with its announcement today that farming would join the Emissions Trading Scheme, National Party Climate Change Spokesperson Paula Bennett said. 

“No other country includes agriculture in their ETS. We have the best, most sustainable farmers in the world and Labour want to place costs on them that their competitors don’t face,” says Mrs Bennett.

“All that will do is force production overseas to less environmentally friendly places. That does absolutely nothing to combat climate change and is in fact worse for the planet.

“This is yet another example of how Labour would stall the economy. It comes hard on the heels of a water tax, a land tax, a capital gains tax and their opposition to the TPP trade deal, it’s hard to remember a more deliberate multi- pronged attack on our regions and a single sector in the economy.

“Labour talk about regional development and exports but their actions would harm towns across New Zealand and our biggest exporters, and would cost local jobs.

“The emissions intensity of our farmers is decreasing by about 1 per cent a year and the industry is committed to doing better, that’s why National is investing $20 million a year into research which will find a scientific solution to reducing emissions from agriculture.

“Labour have also said they want to legislate a carbon target and set up an independent climate commission. But legislating a target won’t reduce a single emission. National is 100 per cent committed to our 2030 Paris Agreement target and we are focussed on practical steps that will actually help us meet it.

“We will have 90 per cent renewable electricity by 2025 and are already over 85 per cent, we will have 1 in 3 electric vehicles in the government fleet, and we are investing a record amount in public transport.

“We also have the Productivity Commission working on how we transition to a low carbon economy while still growing jobs and the economy, something Labour seem to have no regard to.

“More taxes, legislation and working groups from Labour, while National is focussed on what is practical to actually get emissions down.”

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