Global warming called ‘a perception problem’

Rural Exchange 09/06/2018

New Zealand's plan to tackle climate change took another step last week, with Climate Change Minister James Shaw launching a public consultation for the Zero Carbon Bill.

The proposed Zero Carbon Bill would put a climate change target into law. 

But independent environmental and agricultural consultant Steve Cranston is unimpressed with the way the Government and media are portraying climate change.

Mr Cranstonjoined Sarah Perriam to argue that the Government's choice of metric is inaccurate.

"I will be suggesting that we get a metric that treats methane relative to warming. Farmers need something that represents what's actually happening," he told Rural Exchange.

Mr Cranston believes that offsetting the agriculture sector's emissions would be relatively simple.

"[Farmland] would only need around 106,000 hectares of trees to offset those emissions and be warming neutral," he says.

But according to the discussion document for consultation, New Zealand is already feeling the effects of a changing climate. It cites that in the past 100 years, seas have risen around 14 to 22 centimetres in New Zealand ports.

Public consultation will focus on the direction the Zero Carbon Act will go, particularly whether a new emissions reduction target for 2050 should treat all gases that cause climate change the same. 

Public submissions on the Zero Carbon Act can be made here

Watch the full interview with Steve Cranston above.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay, Sarah Perriam and Richard Loe, 5-7am Saturday and Sunday on RadioLIVE with Carter’s Tyre Service. Click here for all the ways to watch and listen.