The Paris Agreement

Over the past couple of weeks I have been working on a submission to Parliament on the ratification of the Paris Agreement. Yesterday afternoon, I made my oral submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee. It was terrifying, and I don’t think I stopped shaking for about an hour afterwards, but it was incredibly rewarding, and I’m so glad I did it. I’ve set my oral submission out below (or at least, what I meant to say – I may have gone off script a few times but I was so stressed out that I don’t really remember…)

If you’re interested in reading my full submission, you can read the full written submission on the Parliament website.

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Enough is enough

Another agricultural myth I’d like to talk about is that sustainable farming systems (that is agroecology, organics, agroforestry, holistic planned farming, etc., or any combination of the above) cannot produce enough food to feed the world.

The industrial agricultural system is based on the concept of growth. Chemical fertilisation, genetically modified crops, the Green Revolution – all have been based on the idea that yields must perpetually increase. Often, this growth-oriented mind-set is justified by the idea that we need to produce more food to feed the global population but, as I have discussed previously, this argument doesn’t hold water. Other times, however, no justification is needed; it’s simply a by-product of the growth-for-the-sake-of-growth economic system and accompanying ‘common sense’ that dominates most global thinking.

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A sad week for ‘environmental’ policy in New Zealand

The Ministry for the Environment this week has given advice to the government not to heed a petition to phase out or levy single use plastic shopping bags. Frankly, I’m appalled. Banning single-use plastic bags is a simple, effective way to massively reduce waste and plastic pollution and production.

The Ministry’s report says that the ban would be ‘impractical’ to introduce a levy.  An interesting perspective, considering it has been implemented in a number of other countries with great success. Just in case Ministry officials weren’t able to do the research themselves, I’ve set out a list below of just some of the countries and states which have successfully restricted the use of plastic bags with a ban or levy:

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