Tuesday, 11 June 2024 11:53

Farmers welcome move to exempt ag sector from ETS

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Beef + Lamb NZ chair Kate Acland. Beef + Lamb NZ chair Kate Acland.

Farmers groups are welcoming the Government’s decision to exempt agriculture from an Emissions Trade Scheme (ETS).

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) chair Kate Acland says they “have consistently argued that agriculture going into the ETS would be a disastrous outcome”.

“We welcome certainty about this being removed.”

Acland also welcomed the official disestablishment of the He Waka Eke Noa Primary Sector Climate Action Partnership. 

“We withdrew our support for He Waka Eke Noa because of the significant impact this would have had on our farmers. 

“While we are prepared to be part of a new group that discusses how to manage New Zealand’s agricultural emissions, any involvement will be with full transparency and discussion with our farmers. We will not allow this to be a repeat of the He Waka Eke Noa process.  

“We are being very clear to the Government that our bottom line is that we do not support a price on agricultural emissions as a way of achieving reductions. 

“Emissions reductions in the sheep and beef sector are already happening more quickly than needed.”

DairyNZ chair Jim van der Poel says the announcement is positive, following a huge amount of uncertainty for dairy farmers.

 “New Zealand’s dairy farmers are among the world’s most GHG-efficient producers of milk, and inclusion in the NZ ETS could have shifted production to less-efficient producers offshore, hurting farmers, the economy and the country. That outcome would also increase global emissions,” he says.

 “To remain internationally competitive, all paths forward must be grounded in a science-based approach. This will ensure a profitable and sustainable future for dairy – and for the rest of New Zealand.

 “While there are currently no significant technologies to reduce methane emissions from New Zealand pastoral farms, our farmers continue to make strong progress towards measuring on-farm emissions, and we look forward to contributing to the government’s methane-reduction work. Methane emissions continue to reduce on-farm thanks to farmer action.”

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