When New Zealand’s Agriculture, Biosecurity and Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor met with his new Australian counterpart yesterday, the subject of biosecurity was top of their agenda.
Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor says advice from the Climate Change Commission will be sought on the proposals.
He thanked HWEN partners for their work, which has been under way since the Government, farming leaders and Māori agreed to a world-first partnership to reduce primary sector emissions in 2019.
"The sector and the wider public will have the opportunity to provide their view before Cabinet makes final decisions towards the end of the year on how to effectively price emissions," O'Connor says.
"We are all committed to pricing agricultural emissions to ensure their reduction from 2025, and reiterate that commitment today.
"It's really important that we get this right. Customers around the world are demanding higher levels of sustainability in the products they buy, so there is the potential for real competitive advantage here if we can get this right and continue moving to sustainable farming systems that are ready to respond to a warming world."
O'Connor says the Government committed almost $380 million over four years in Budget 2022 to accelerate efforts to lower agricultural emissions.
"It sees us establishing the new Centre for Climate Action on Agricultural Emissions as a joint venture with business to accelerate the product development of tools for farmers to reduce emissions.
"We're also developing specialised climate-focused extension services and expanding our support for Māori agribusinesses," O'Connor says.
Climate Change Minister James Shaw says the agriculture sector has a crucial role to play in meeting the recently set emissions budgets.
"We need to urgently cut emissions across all sectors of the economy - and that includes agriculture."