Budget 2022: Greens call for urgency with nature-first climate investments

  • Budget 2022 shows progress on conservation commitments in the Green Party’s cooperation agreement
  • Green Party achievements in the last Government continue to drive investment in nature protection
  • Urgent action needed on nature-based solutions to climate change
  • Future budget decisions must reflect the role nature plays in helping reduce emissions and adapt to climate change

The Green Party welcomes investments in Budget 2022 to protect and restore nature, and wants urgent action to develop nature-based solutions to climate change to match the scale of the challenge ahead.

The Green Party welcomes investments in Budget 2022 to protect and restore nature, and wants urgent action to develop nature-based solutions to climate change to match the scale of the challenge ahead.

“We have a global and national biodiversity crisis. The Emissions Reduction Plan commits to a new work programme of climate and nature action that delivers wider environmental gains. That work to tackle both the climate and biodiversity crises together needs to be done at pace,” Green Party conservation spokesperson Eugenie Sage says.

“Budget 2022 shows that the Green Party’s co-operation agreement with Labour is helping to protect native forests, mountainlands, waterways and oceans with the ramping up of investment in predator free Aotearoa, and more funding for aerial pest control, to reduce deer and goat damage, and to protect dolphins. This builds on what we achieved in the last term of Government, turning around decades of under-investment in conservation. 

“In the last Government, the Green Party secured the largest investment in conservation in 16 years. We created the Jobs for Nature programme, which continues to benefit communities all over Aotearoa; increased support for threatened native fish; and released Te Mana o Te Taiao, a new biodiversity strategy that is guiding the decisions this Government makes about protecting nature. 

“The extra $30 million over four years for deer and goat control is welcome. The increase in deer numbers, their spread and browsing pressure is a major threat to the health of native forests. Heavy deer browse can suppress forest regeneration, contribute to forest collapse, and change the mix and health of native plant species.  Deer have no natural predators so with only limited control by recreational hunting, deer numbers and damage is increasing,” Eugenie Sage said.

“The small increase in funding for research on toxoplasmosis is useful. This will help determine whether toxoplasmosis excreted by feral cats and washed into streams and out to sea is affecting Māui dolphin. While bycatch in fishing nets is the major threat to dolphins, toxoplasmosis has been found in dolphins washed up on beaches. 

“The launch this week of Aotearoa New Zealand’s first ever first Emissions Reduction Plan was a landmark moment for environmental protection. The plan recognises the crucial role nature based solutions must play in helping cut climate pollution. We would like to see future budget decisions fully reflect the huge contribution that ecosystems and their services contribute to human well-being, jobs and our low carbon future,” Eugenie Sage says. 

“The Green Party also welcomes the investment in Budget 2022 in huts and tracks, so more people have the opportunity to spend time enjoying nature by walking, tramping, hunting, fishing and mountain-biking. DOC rangers and other staff are on the frontline of protecting nature. The Budget commitment to increase their incomes, and maintain staff housing in remote areas while also upgrading the DOC vehicle fleet to low emissions electric vehicles is needed.”

ENDS

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