29 Jul 2010

Farmers object to foreign companies harvesting NZ carbon credits

12:49 pm on 29 July 2010

In its continuing campaign against the emissions trading scheme, Federated Farmers has raised concerns about the impact that large international forestry companies harvesting carbon credits will have on New Zealand farming.

President Don Nicolson says companies, such as Ernslaw One, which is Malaysian-owned; and Blakeley Pacific and Rayonier New Zealand, which are American-owned; have indicated there is potential for two million hectares of land in New Zealand to be planted in carbon forests.

Mr Nicolson says that would take out a significant area of sheep and beef production, further undermining a sector that's already under pressure from dairy conversions, as well as forestry development.

As well as the possible loss of thousands of farms and millions of livestock, he says it could threaten the survival of rural communities.

Mr Nicolson says he also objects to international companies being able to take advantage of what amounts to taxpayer-funded subsidies, in the form of carbon credits.