16 Feb 2015

Emissions 'blow-out' prompts action call

6:37 am on 16 February 2015

Forest owners are putting pressure on the Government to get to grips with what they call the country's greenhouse gas emissions blow-out.

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Photo: 123rf

They say it is clear New Zealand is going to miss its existing 2020 emissions reduction target by a country mile and the longer term goal of halving emissions by 2050 is also out of reach.

The Government has been relying mainly on increased forestry plantings to generate credits while other sectors work on reducing their emissions.

However, Forest Owners Association chief executive David Rhodes said the latest figures from the Primary Industries Ministry showed new plantings were well below the levels needed to meet Government targets.

He said the association was calling on the Government to call an urgent meeting of primary sector and Maori leaders to discuss how they would deal with that looming imbalance.

"We don't see any clear plan out there at the moment, as to how we are going to meet these emissions targets and not only that, but going into the climate change talks at the end of the year in Paris, the expectation is, and New Zealand has committed to this, that countries will not only stump up with the commitments they've had previously, but will actually look to improve on those.

"So, if anything, it's going to get tougher and as I say, at the moment, it's hard to see how we can even meet the ones we've got," he said.

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