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Maureen Pugh, National List MP for West Coast-Tasman, has welcomed the proposed Climate Change Commission announced by Green Party Leader, James Shaw, this week.

National’s Climate Change spokesperson, Todd Muller, who visited Motueka last year, has been working closely with Climate Change Minister James Shaw to reach agreement on a joint approach to climate change, agreeing that the matter is of such importance it warrants a co-operative approach that transcends politics. “We are fully supportive of an independent Climate Change Commission, and have signed off on how appointments to these advisory roles will be made, and that the role of the Commission is advisory.”

“However, we have not agreed on the targets, currently set at between 24% - 47% for methane reduction. Of great concern is the fact that, based on the current science and technology, the only way for farmers to comply is to de-stock. To our productive farms across Tasman these targets will be devastating.

“I challenge Primary Industries Minister and Minister for Rural Communities to come forward and explain how these farms and communities will remain viable in the face of these targets if our competitors do not follow suit,” Mrs Pugh asked. “I disagree with these targets as they lack any sort of scientific basis. It is idealism that plays with grass roots Kiwi farmers.”

“I am also calling on Climate Change Minister James Shaw to urgently modify his stance on no changes to the HSNO Act which means field trials on new strains of grasses currently have to be carried out off shore. This is the very type of scientific development that we need in New Zealand to assist in reducing methane emissions but current law prevents the field trials happening here.”

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