Thursday, 18 April 2024 07:55

Editorial: Time for a reset

Written by  Staff Reporters
Farmers claim methane targets have been a point of contention since they were first introduced. Farmers claim methane targets have been a point of contention since they were first introduced.

OPINION: The Government's recent announcement that methane targets will be reviewed is bringing relief to farmers.

The current target of 24-47% cuts by 2050 set by the previous government is unfair. Farmers are looking for a more sensible target from an independent ministerial advisory panel which will be confirmed in the coming months.

Farmers claim methane targets have been a point of contention since they were first introduced because the government of the day chose to set targets that were highly political instead of scientifically robust. They go much further and faster than what is needed and will come at a huge cost to farmers, rural communities, and the New Zealand economy.

The farmer-friendly coalition Government has been clear in the commitment to maintain a split-gas approach to its domestic climate change targets.

The independent review, which will report back to the Government by the end of the year, will provide evidence-based advice on what our domestic 2050 methane target should be, consistent with the principle of no additional warming.

Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard, a former Federated Farmers president, wants to ensure that agriculture’s contribution to the 2050 Climate Change targets are fair and appropriate compared to other parts of the economy.

“It’s important that domestic efforts to cut emissions do not drive a drop in our agricultural production."

The Government says an investment in innovative technology is the key. It expects a science-led approach is taken to assessing the targets, with the Government and sector working towards practical tools and solutions for farmers.

Other parts of the economy are being asked to reach net zero and stop their contribution to further warming by 2050, but farmers are being asked to go much further than that. That isn’t acceptable.

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