Worsening climate change to make life tougher for farmers, warns Government

The agricultural sector has been warned to brace itself for more tough summers, as the Government works to tackle climate change.

Climate change is putting Kiwi farmers in a ‘tough spot’ the government warns Source: 1 NEWS

New Zealand's emissions have grown significantly since the 1990's and the Government says we're currently in a "tough spot".

Farmer Linda Murchison is a realist who knows about working on the land. She's at the mercy of mother nature.

But it has been seven months since her North Canterbury farm has seen decent rain. Her farm is dry, too dry, and it's making her nervous.

"All farmers should be worried about the weather. Most farmers are, because this is how we make our money and good farmers pride themselves on their ability to read the weather and the seasons," says Ms Murchison.

And according to the Government the prevalance of droughts will increase.

"We should assume that unless the planet gets on top of this problem, this thing that you've just seen on television will be more of the case in 20 or 30 years time," says Climate Change Minister Tim Groser.

Research shows back in 2013, 48% of our greenhouse gas emissions came from the agricultural sector.

"The only thing that's going to fix this is a global response. We produced 0.15% of emissions and stating that is not an agrument that we don't need to do something about that, we have to play our fair share," says Mr Groser.

Nearly 200 countries will meet in Paris at the end of this year to try to come up with a global agreement to cut carbon emissions from 2020.

The Government isn't ready to set a target to take to the negotiations.

"Climate change is the single greatest threat facing our civilisation, both here in New Zealand and abroad," says Greens co-leader James Shaw.

The Greens say New Zealand is behind the pack when it comes to our response and have proposed a bill to tackle the issue.

"So the Bill would require that we have a climate impact assessment for every piece of legislation that comes before parliament," says Mr Shaw.

Everyone agrees, though, our emission levels need to come down before this view is permenant.