Agricultural disaster from climate pollution if Govt fails to act now

Locust swarms, invasive ants, tick borne livestock diseases and rampant aquatic weed growth are just some of the potential impacts on our agricultural and horticultural industries that the Government must protect against at the Paris climate talks next week, the Green Party said today.

 

The comments come on the back of a report soon-to-be released by the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) on the effects of climate change on current and potential pests and diseases.

 

“The MPI report is a disturbing read. It shows the major risks to our primary sector and our native bush from new invasive pest species, and ‘sleeper’ plant and animal pests as temperatures warm,” Green Party primary industries spokesperson Eugenie Sage said.

“The National Government may think the impacts of climate change are still ‘speculative’. We have had two reports in the space of a week showing the real risks to New Zealand coastal communities, homes, farms, and our native species and the need for action.

“The MPI report details ‘sleeper’ plant and animals species that are already present in New Zealand and currently innocuous, but whose populations and extent may increase with warming temperatures to become significant pests.

“Migratory locusts already occur in New Zealand but current temperatures are not high enough to trigger the swarming behaviour that would make them a pest, but a temperature increase could change this.

“Current temperatures and winter frosts also limit the establishment and southern spread of other species. Alligator weed occurs in Northland and Auckland, and is toxic to livestock. Warming temperatures mean it could become more invasive on land and in the water, and spread south with its floating mats blocking waterways.

“The report predicts that accelerated trade winds and bush fire weather patterns are likely to see more potential pests blown in from Australia.

“When 65 per cent of our exports are from agriculture, horticulture and forestry, an unstable climate that increases the biosecurity risks for New Zealand farmers is a timely reminder that the number one priority at the Paris climate talks next week is to put an end to climate pollution, rather than avoiding action.

“The report also warns of the diseases that could affect our native species, including kauri, hebe and pohutukawa, and the risk of mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile virus and bovine ephemeral fever becoming more widespread, affecting livestock and also human health.

“New Zealand’s current targets to reduce climate pollution have been described by climate experts as “inadequate.”  If every other country copied the National Government’s lack of ambition,  a future of increased and more widespread plant and animal pests and diseases and sea level rise would be a near certainty,” said Ms Sage.

Copies of the report are available by emailing Kimberley.rothwell@parliament.govt.nz.

Latest Environment Announcements

Petition

Take action to protect our oceans

We’re taking the health of our oceans seriously and our Thriving Oceans Plan sets out exactly how the Green Party will protect them so we all can e...
TAKE ACTION

Thriving Oceans

Oceans are the lifeblood of our planet and home to thousands of taonga species, providing us with nourishing food to feed our families, supporting ...
Read More

Farming For The Future

Here in Aotearoa, we can have a thriving and sustainable farming sector that is good for farmers, good for people, and good for the planet. By maki...
Read More

Story

More action on waste – Government funds recycling infrastructure, moves to standardise kerbside collections

$36.7m Government investment in high-tech recycling plants nationwide Plan to standardise and improve the nation’s kerbside collections As part o...
Read More

Story

New rules for the outdoor storage of tyres

The Government is introducing environmental standards for tyres stored outdoors announced Associate Minister for the Environment, Eugenie Sage. “A ...
Read More

Story

Government announces plan to tackle problem plastics and seven single-use plastic items

Following the success of the phase out of single-use plastic shopping bags, the Government now has plans to phase out more single-use and problem p...
Read More

Latest Climate Change Announcements

Story

New Zealand first in the world to require climate risk reporting

New Zealand will be the first country in the world to require the financial sector to report on climate risks, the Minister for Climate Change Jame...
Read More

Story

Greens unveil $297m fund to support sustainable food and farming

The Green Party has released its Farming for the Future Plan, including a $297m fund to support farmers and growers to transition to climate-friend...
Read More

Petition

Supporting farmers to be part of the solution

Our farmers are already leading the way toward climate-friendly agriculture - but governments must support them to go further, faster.   The Green ...
SIGN ON

Farming For The Future

Here in Aotearoa, we can have a thriving and sustainable farming sector that is good for farmers, good for people, and good for the planet. By maki...
Read More

Story

Labour’s energy policy shows progress, but more action needed to protect the planet

The Green Party says Labour’s energy policy is a step in the right direction, but the Greens would go further and faster to meaningfully tackle the...
Read More

Story

Low-emissions options for heavy transport a step closer

Getting low-emission trucks on the road is a step closer with investment in infrastructure to support hydrogen vehicles, the Energy and Resources M...
Read More

Latest Primary Industries Announcements

Petition

Take action to protect our oceans

We’re taking the health of our oceans seriously and our Thriving Oceans Plan sets out exactly how the Green Party will protect them so we all can e...
TAKE ACTION

Thriving Oceans

Oceans are the lifeblood of our planet and home to thousands of taonga species, providing us with nourishing food to feed our families, supporting ...
Read More

Farming For The Future

Here in Aotearoa, we can have a thriving and sustainable farming sector that is good for farmers, good for people, and good for the planet. By maki...
Read More

Petition

Supporting farmers to be part of the solution

Our farmers are already leading the way toward climate-friendly agriculture - but governments must support them to go further, faster.   The Green ...
SIGN ON

Policy

Agriculture and Rural Affairs Policy

A strong and diverse agricultural sector is an important part of an economically viable and environmentally sustainable Aotearoa New Zealand. Farme...
See More

Policy

Forestry Policy

Protecting and growing our forests cleans the air and lowers greenhouse gas emissions, creates jobs and economic value, sustains the soil and clean...
See More