Farmer says land conversions do nothing to stop climate change

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 24 Jun 2020, 3:07PM
(Photo / Getty)

Farmer says land conversions do nothing to stop climate change

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 24 Jun 2020, 3:07PM

Farmers say land conversions for carbon offsets are seeing the rich getting richer, while doing nothing for climate change.

The Government's looking into restricting the amount of land that can be turned from farms to forestry.

But some farmers argue it's too late: prime land is already being planted, and rich polluters are getting richer by offsetting with exotic trees that will probably never be harvested. 

Sheep and beef farmer William Beetham, Federated Farmers provincial president for Wairarapa and Wellington, says a lot of conversion is happening there.

He told Mike Hosking that they have seen quite a few purchases by large consortiums and forestry companies, and he doubts that many are focused on harvestry.

"We certainly know that with one particular foreign investor, the investment was not focused on forestry, it was focused on carbon."

He says that they cannot blame farmers as the market has been created by policy, and farmers have to do what's best for them in this environment. 

Beetham does not believe that this policy will contribute anything to tackling climate change.