Animal rights organisation SAFE is critical of the $90 million the Government is giving to Fonterra to reduce CO2 emissions, which won’t make a dent to their methane emissions.

The dairy industry is New Zealand’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, and the grant will see Fonterra reducing its coal use across six manufacturing locations.

SAFE Campaign Manager Emma Brodie says the dairy industry is still getting a free pass for its methane and nitrous oxide emissions.

“If we’re going to talk about future-proofing New Zealand’s economy and environment, the Government needs to take bolder action to reduce intensive dairy production altogether,” says Brodie.

“SAFE absolutely supports a transition away from fossil fuels, but it’s not enough. Methane is an incredibly potent greenhouse gas and per capita, New Zealand is one of the highest methane emitters in the world.”

Fonterra is receiving Government funding at a time when the dairy giant is increasingly profitable. In the third quarter of the 2022-23 financial year, its after-tax profit was $1.3 billion – up $854 million on the same period last year.

“Fonterra has the means to fund its own emissions reduction. This should not be the responsibility of Kiwi taxpayers.”

“We need to diversify New Zealand’s export market away from its dependence on harmful animal-based products. It’s time for Aotearoa to embrace a future where our primary industries do not rely on animal and environmental exploitation.”

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“A $90 million investment into New Zealand’s emerging plant-based technology, like precision fermentation, would have gone a long way to start meaningfully building a climate-resilient future that better aligns with our values as an ethical, sustainable and innovative country.”

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