Tuesday, 29 October 2019 10:40

At last a deal on climate change — Editorial

Written by  Staff Reporters
Finally, farmers and the government are working together. Finally, farmers and the government are working together.

OPINION: Primary sector bosses and Government ministers waxed lyrical at a news conference at Parliament on the new deal on agricultural emissions.

It seems the Government has taken farmers’ word that they can cut farm emissions in a way better than the very prescriptive approach the Government was proposing a few months ago.

The news conference heard farming’s two representatives say they were “very proud” to be associated with the agreement and to feel listened to by the Government. They were seeking practical, effective outcomes and believe that the deal will achieve this.

They said farming will work with the Government to design a pricing mechanism whereby any price is part of a broader framework to incentivise the uptake of economically viable opportunities which contribute to lower global emissions. 

Both sides are describing this as a win-win deal, and in fairness it was probably the best that both sides could have hoped for. It’s likely that some farmers will be unhappy and that some ‘green’ elements of the Government may feel aggrieved and claim that farmers are being treated as a special case.

Already Greenpeace is labelling the deal “a sellout”, accusing the Government of buckling to lobbying pressure from the dairy industry and big agribusiness.

For its part, Federated Farmers is happy to be working with the Government via ‘He Waka Eke Noa’ commitment but it continues to oppose agriculture entering the ETS.

Its position remains that He Waka Eke Noa is clear that the ETS has not worked to reduce emissions and will not work for agriculture.

The question that remains is whether this new Bill and proposed solutions will take some pressure off farmers and give them certainty. 

One could say it may help, but there are still lots of other issues to be resolved on the environmental front, notably water and farmers’ about land use change.

Much is said about helping farmers deal with climate change and the challenge will be how to get the message out to the wider farming sector.  A lot of this will likely fall on industry good organisations such as DairyNZ. 

At this stage it looks hopeful as most parties go forward with goodwill.

More like this

Freshwater plan a killer blow

A national limit on dissolved nitrogen would “essentially eliminate” intensive agriculture in the Selwyn Waihora catchment, says Environment Canterbury chief scientist Dr Tim Davie.

Tree protest this week

The protest group ‘50 Shades of Green’ is organising a march on Parliament this week to try and stop good farmland being covered in pine trees.

Saving us from ourselves

OPINION: The Government's policy to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand is working directly against the goals of the Paris Accord.

» The RNG Weather Report

Featured

No threat to farming from forestry

OPINION: There’s some agitation out there at the moment about farming being under threat from forestry. Much of what’s circulating is based on misinformation so it’s time to lay out the facts.

 

Women’s stories inspire many

Storytelling will help attract, retain and inspire the next generation in dairy farming, says Jules Benton, Dairy Women’s Network chief executive.

Pride is making a big comeback

Pride is returning to the dairy industry, says the new chair of Dairy Women’s Network, Karen Forlong, a Central Plateau farmer.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Angry as usual

The usual culprits are angry at hearing last week that the Government and the agri sector will work together to…

Vladimir the dairy farmer

Russian President Vladimir Putin is a master tactician in taking advantage of international conflicts.

» Connect with Dairy News