Greenpeace takes further action on Fonterra climate crime - RePress


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Monday, October 12

Greenpeace takes further action on Fonterra climate crime

Greenpeace has renewed its call for John Key and dairy giant Fonterra to stop the import of palm based animal feed because of its devastating climate impact, by painting a large slogan reading “Fonterra climate crime” on a shipment in the Port of Taranaki.

Seven Greenpeace activists involved in the protest were arrested when they returned to shore by Taranaki police.

Today’s protest on the 177 metre Ikan Juana, from Indonesia, follows last month’s 12-hour blockade of a shipment carrying palm kernel expeller (PKE) by Greenpeace activists at the Port of Tauranga. The PKE was destined for Fonterra dairy farms.

Greenpeace is also calling on Fonterra to change its intensive farming model which forces farmers to provide more and more milk at the expense of the climate and the environment.

Greenpeace New Zealand climate campaigner Simon Boxer said the continued importation of PKE was a clear example of how the Government was misleading the international community about its commitment to tackling climate change and was not prepared to take serious steps to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, despite deputy Prime Minister Bill English conceding palm kernel production had an impact on rainforest destruction (1).

“The Government is arguing in international climate negotiations that New Zealand should get off lightly on tackling climate change due to its agricultural emissions, and on the basis that it’s doing everything it can to reduce those emissions,” said Boxer.

“Meanwhile it’s overseeing the intensification of dairy farming, and Fonterra’s contribution to rainforest clearance, even when palm-based animal feed is not needed on New Zealand farms. If John Key continues to stand by and allow this kind of hypocrisy, New Zealand’s credibility in the upcoming Copenhagen negotiations could be damaged.

“On one hand John Key is announcing New Zealand will drive a global alliance on research to cut greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture while on the other we have this shipment, destined for Fonterra’s dairy farms, which has contributed to 364,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (2). That’s equal to the annual emissions from 127,000 cars (3).”

PKE is one of the products of Indonesian and Malaysian palm plantations which have been developed on land cleared of rainforest, causing massive carbon emissions. It is a lucrative part of the destructive palm oil business (4). The three main end products of the palm plantation business are crude palm oil (for food), palm kernel oil (for cosmetics, etc) and PKE (used for animal feed).

“New Zealand’s imports of 1.1 million tonnes of palm kernel animal feed in 2008 (5) caused the release of up to 20 million tonnes of CO2 in the process. It was then used as a supplementary feed for Fonterra’s increasing intensive dairy business, which further increased emissions.”

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