“Air New Zealand’s failure to curb its greenhouse gas emissions can simply be addressed with less international flights.
Air New Zealand pumped 5 percent more polluting gases into the atmosphere over the last year, as reported in the NZ Herald, which it blamed on a 4 percent growth in its network and its use of less efficient planes.
“Letting other country’s airlines pick up the extra flights needed to satisfy growing demand for air travel will reduce Air New Zealand’s and New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, but of course it would be as pointless and counterproductive as New Zealand letting other countries pick up the extra demand for agricultural production just to reduce New Zealand’s methane emissions.
“No sensible commentator is suggesting Air New Zealand should allow its competitors to take up the growing demand for air travel in order for NZ to reduce its emissions, but there is a chorus calling for New Zealand farmers to do exactly the same thing with agricultural production.
“The Government’s so called carbon zero bill requires New Zealand farmers to reduce livestock emissions, so that the rest of the world has to supply more of the growing demand for animal proteins and fats, which it will do with higher emissions production systems than would have occurred had they been produced in New Zealand. The consequence will be a poorer New Zealand and more global warming.
“So if making NZ poorer whilst increasing global emissions is the Government’s intention with agriculture, they might as well do the same with aviation and require Air New Zealand to reduce its international flights. As a policy response it is no sillier.
“Air New Zealand should take heart that only 4.6 percent of its passengers think global warming is enough of a concern to warrant them paying an extra few dollars on their fares to offset their carbon, and press on. Likewise farmers should realise that their methane emissions do not need to reduce at all in order for them not to be contributing to any further increases in global temperatures, as is clearly stated in the Ministry for the Environment Zero Carbon Bill consultation document, and press on feeding the world with high value low emissions food. It is the Government alone that is accountable under the carbon zero bill after all, not farmers.