• Don’t delay New Zealand’s insulation standards
    Making our homes cosy, snug places by improving their insulation will help to improve our health, reduce household bills, and slash carbon pollution. Yet despite these huge benefits – which will help keep homes warm and the climate cool – government officials are right now considering delaying planned moves to increase insulation standards after being lobbied by a minority within the building industry. If government officials at MBIE are swayed by these voices calling for a delay, this could saddle 40,000 Kiwi households with higher household bills. And this is happening at a time when the costs of living are increasing. What’s also increasing is the planet’s temperature. And there’s a raft of ways in which we can – together – tackle this. One of the key ways highlighted in the recent report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is to make our homes and buildings cosier by improving insulation. The cheapest and cleanest energy is the energy you don’t use. Improved insulation means using much less energy, and it means warmer homes. Plus, installing insulation is much, much easier to do than it is to build a huge piece of energy infrastructure like a new power station. The government have been preparing to introduce improved insulation standards in November this year. They ran a consultation last year that garnered massive support for increasing insulation, and for doing so quickly. 98 per cent of responses backed improved insulation – and improving it in the shortest time possible. For anyone who wants our homes to be cosy, warm and healthy places, where families build memories, laugh, cry and eat together, where families can look forward to a low carbon, cleaner Aotearoa, these simple insulation changes will be warmly welcomed. However MBIE have lent their ear to the pro-cold home lobby voices urging delay, and are considering postponing the improvements by a whole year. It’s now time for James Shaw, the minister of climate change to step in, and make sure these insulation standards are not delayed.
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    Created by NZ Green Building Council Picture
  • Otago Regional Council: Phase Out Synthetic Nitrogen Fertiliser
    Synthetic nitrogenous fertiliser should be banned because: 1) It pollutes our rivers and lakes 2) It allows the establishment and growth of intensive dairy farming in inappropriate places in Otago 3) It causes the release of nitrous oxide, one of the worst greenhouse gases 4) There is evidence nitrates cause bowel cancer 5) It is degrading the natural health of our soils Our once-safe drinking water is being contaminated. Everyone needs safe drinking water and clean swimmable rivers. Too many cows made possible by too much chemical fertiliser are polluting the once pristine rivers and lakes of the Central Otago. Agriculture causes 48% of all our greenhouse gas emissions and overloads our rivers with synthetic nitrogen in the form of nitrates. The 2019 report The Hidden Killer, compiled by the world’s leading climate scientists, documents the impacts of wealthy countries failing to make the changes needed to ensure liveable futures. New Zealand’s circumstances require us to tackle our biggest polluter, industrial dairy farming. Current research shows a strong link between nitrates in drinking water and babies being born underweight or prematurely.[1] Chronic exposure to drinking water containing more than 0.88 mg/L of nitrogen in the form of nitrates has been linked to colorectal cancers.[2] Synthetic nitrogenous fertiliser is mostly sold here by just two companies; Ravensdown and Ballance. Industrial dairying is their biggest customer by far. A transition away from industrial livestock farming and mass milk production is essential. A ban on synthetic nitrogenous fertiliser and a nationwide shift to more plant-based regenerative organic farming is urgent and essential. Our Regional Council has the responsibility for environmental management, monitoring, enforcement and compliance, and has the power to end synthetic nitrogenous fertiliser use. We call on the ORC to put te Mana o te Wai (the integrity of the waters) first, so that all other objectives in the Regional Policy Statement are informed by the priority to care for water and keep it healthy. Synthetic nitrogenous fertiliser use is incompatible with te Mana o te Wai. Join the call! Add your name today to demand our Councillors immediately put in place a swift, fair phaseout of synthetic nitrogenous fertiliser. Free mail-in nitrate water testing for drinking water, from private bores only: https://petition.act.greenpeace.org.nz/agriculture-nitrate-testing-request Image: Geoff Reid https://geoffreidnz.com References 1 - Link between nitrate levels and premature births, study finds, 2021https://bit.ly/3vacKKK 2 - Report: The hidden killer, 2019. How synthetic nitrogen fertiliser is fuelling intensive dairying, polluting our rivers and climate. https://www.greenpeace.org/static/planet4-aotearoa-stateless/2019/09/8130950a-greenpeace-synthetic-nitrogen-fertiliser-briefing.pdf
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    Created by Rosemary Penwarden
  • Phase out synthetic nitrogen fertiliser - Southland
    Synthetic nitrogenous fertiliser should be banned because: 🌏 It pollutes our rivers and lakes 🌏 It is responsible for the growth of intensive, unsustainable farming 🌏 It causes the release of nitrous oxide, one of the worst greenhouse gases 🌏 It is a likely cause of bowel cancer 🌏 It is degrading the natural health of our soils Everyone deserves safe drinking water and clean rivers to swim in. But too many cows, and too much chemical fertiliser, are rapidly polluting the rivers, lakes and drinking water we should all be able to enjoy and rely on. The agriculture sector is currently Aotearoa New Zealand’s biggest polluter, causing 48% of all our greenhouse gas emissions, and overloading our rivers with synthetic nitrogen in the form of nitrates (nitrogen). Southland’s cow numbers have increased by 16 times since 1990, from 38,000 to 636,000 and according to Stats NZ we have nationally increased the tonnes of nitrogen fertiliser applied to farmland per annum by 629 per cent from 1991 to now (from 62,000 tonnes to 452,000 tonnes). Our once clean rivers and lakes are increasingly polluted. Our once-safe drinking water is being contaminated. A 2019 report found nitrate was the contaminant with the highest risk ranking in Southland’s groundwater. Growing research is showing a strong link between nitrate in drinking water and babies being born underweight or prematurely.(1,2) Chronic exposure is associated with formation of carcinogenic nitroso compounds in the gastrointestinal tract. Chronic exposure through drinking water containing > 0.88 mg/L (as nitrate-N) has recently been linked to colorectal cancers. (1,2) It’s shocking that Southland has to build a Charity Hospital to deal with the large number of colonoscopies needed by people from across Murihiku Southland which the current Southland Hospital does not have the capacity to deal with. Synthetic nitrogenous fertiliser is mostly sold here by just two companies; Ravensdown and Ballance have industrial dairying as their biggest customer by far. A transition away from industrial livestock farming and mass milk production is required. It starts with an urgent ban on synthetic nitrogenous fertiliser, and a nationwide shift to more plant-based regenerative organic farming. Our Regional Council has the responsibility for environmental management, monitoring, enforcement and compliance, and has the power to end synthetic nitrogenous fertiliser use. Join the call! Add your name today to demand our Councillors cut synthetic nitrogenous fertiliser. Also you can request free nitrate testing for private bores if you wish to have peace of mind that your own water supply is safe: https://petition.act.greenpeace.org.nz/agriculture-nitrate-testing-request References 1 - Link between nitrate levels and premature births, study finds, 2021 https://bit.ly/3vacKKK 2 - Human health risks associated with contaminants in Southland waters, 2019 https://bit.ly/3sjB5f2 3 - Report: The hidden killer, 2019. How synthetic nitrogen fertiliser is fuelling intensive dairying, polluting our rivers and climate. https://www.greenpeace.org/static/planet4-aotearoa-stateless/2019/09/8130950a-greenpeace-synthetic-nitrogen-fertiliser-briefing.pdf
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    Created by Jenny, Dave and Robina
  • Cut synthetic nitrogen fertiliser
    Together we are facing enormous challenges to our local ecosystems and climate. Our food production systems need to be resilient and sustainable to guarantee a long term future. Everyone deserves to swim in clean rivers and have safe drinking water. But too many cows and too much chemical fertiliser is rapidly polluting the rivers, lakes and drinking water we should all be able to enjoy and rely on. The agriculture sector is currently Aotearoa New Zealand’s biggest polluter, causing 48% of all our greenhouse gas emissions, and overloading our rivers with nitrate nitrogen. Synthetic nitrogen fertiliser is the key ingredient that has intensified agriculture in Aotearoa, in particular dairy farming. Since 1990, dairy cow numbers have doubled. The addition of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser on the land has increased seven-fold. Dairy farmers spread synthetic nitrogen fertiliser onto farmland in vast quantities because in the short term it’s an easy way to make grass and other crops grow fast. Synthetic nitrogen fertiliser is a double whammy for the climate. Its use enables increasing numbers of cows on the land, which increases methane gas emissions from burps, and more nitrous oxide emissions from manure and urine. Nitrous oxide is one of the most dangerous greenhouse gases. It’s 265 times worse for trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Synthetic nitrogen fertiliser is mostly sold here by just two companies; Ravensdown and Ballance and industrial dairying is their biggest customer by far. Besides our climate, our once clean rivers and lakes are increasingly polluted. When nitrogen gets into rivers and lakes it can cause algal blooms which can suck all the oxygen out of the water, suffocating fish and other species. Our once-safe drinking water is becoming contaminated. Entire freshwater ecosystems are being pushed past breaking point. We are on the brink of losing native freshwater species forever. A transition away from industrial livestock farming and mass milk production is required. It starts with an urgent ban on synthetic nitrogen fertiliser, and a nationwide shift to more plant-based regenerative organic farming. Regenerative organic farming is a way of growing food that works with nature. Instead of using synthetic nitrogen regenerative farmers use nitrogen fixing plants and put their effort into building healthy soil. They farm a diverse mix of crop and animal varieties, and use methods like cover cropping, inter-cropping, agro-forestry, and no-till techniques. Together, we can move towards regenerative organic farming. But first, we need to starve Big Ag of its key ingredient. The Government has set new rules for fresh water which limit the amount of nitrogen fertiliser farmers can use, but still leave the limit too high. Our Regional Council has the responsibility for environmental management, monitoring, enforcement and compliance, and has the power to cut synthetic nitrogen fertiliser use. Join the call! Add your name today to demand our Councillors cut synthetic nitrogen fertiliser. Report: The hidden killer, 2019. How synthetic nitrogen fertiliser is fuelling intensive dairying, polluting our rivers and climate. https://www.greenpeace.org/static/planet4-aotearoa-stateless/2019/09/8130950a-greenpeace-synthetic-nitrogen-fertiliser-briefing.pdf Agriculture emissions and climate change 2021 https://environment.govt.nz/guides/agriculture-emissions-climate-change/ Why New Zealand has to cut synthetic nitrogen fertiliser https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arc73-E5W9M The Regenerators https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKMM2b6srIg
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    Created by Krysta Neve