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One of my favourite sights whenever I fly back to Taranaki from Wellington is the lines of greenery you see along so many of our waterways.

They are the result of years of riparian planting by our farmers, facilitated by the Taranaki Regional Council. Five million native plants now line 8,000 kms of streambanks around the Ring Plain and coastal terraces. This year 500,000 more plants will go into the ground. It’s been a very successful partnership, resulting in vegetation helping filter runoff into streams, stock access being prevented and water quality improving. I congratulate everyone involved and look forward to seeing even more progress in coming years.

Cooperation is also going on in Parliament, where all parties agree on the need to reduce our environmental footprint.

National is supporting the Climate Change Response Act Amendment Bill through its first reading. However we have some serious concerns. We agree with many parts of the Bill including establishing an independent Climate Change Commission, a framework for reducing New Zealand’s emissions and a framework for climate change adaptation- those are essential elements for developing robust plans.

On the other hand things like the proposed 24 – 47 per cent reduction in methane are not reflective of scientific advice. A range of scientific reports have suggested agriculture would contribute no further warming with a 10 – 22 per cent reduction, which we feel would be a more reasonable target.

Do we need to transition? Yes. We need to reduce emissions and support global efforts to avoid climate change. But we also need to be open and honest about the potential costs.

We must make sure that we don’t take a short-term approach that ends up increasing our emissions, and that we don’t push our families to the wall with a spiralling cost of living.

As always, I value your feedback: newplymouthmp@parliament.govt.nz

 

Jonathan Young
MP for New Plymouth
National Party spokesperson: Energy and Resources
National Party spokesperson: Regional Development (North Island)

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