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World-first plan for farmers to reduce emissions

The Government and farming sector leaders have agreed to a world-first partnership to reduce primary sector emissions in one of the most significant developments on climate action in New Zealand's history.

Today, farming leaders and the Government announced a plan to join forces to develop practical and cost-effective ways to measure and price emissions at the farm level by 2025, so that 100 per cent of New Zealand's emissions will be on the path downwards.

The five-year joint action plan includes:

  •   •  Improved tools for estimating and benchmarking emissions on farms

  •   •  Integrated farm plans that include a climate module

  •   •  Investment in research, development and commercialisation

  •   •  Increased farm advisory capacity and capability

  •   •  Incentives for early adopters

  •   •  Recognition of on-farm mitigation such as small plantings, riparian areas and natural cover

The Government recognises partnering with Māori will be critical to the success of this joint action plan.

In addition, Cabinet has also agreed that in 2022 the independent Climate Change Commission will check in on the progress made and if commitments aren't being met, the Government can bring the sector into the ETS at processor level before 2025.

"I'm proud that we have a world-first agreement as part of our plan to tackle the long-term challenge of climate change and we've done that by reaching an historic consensus with our primary sector," says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

"For too long politicians have passed the buck and caused uncertainty for everyone while the need for climate action was clear.

"This plan provides the primary sector with certainty and puts us shoulder-to-shoulder on a path to reduce emissions, with ongoing support to help with the plan such as the $229 million Sustainable Land Use investment.

"This will reduce emissions by giving farmers the autonomy to plan to do so and reward those who do."

"Our decision to put in place a sector-led plan to reduce emissions at the farm gate shows we've listened to farmers," says Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters.

"We welcome the cooperation of our primary sector organisations who have been advocating for a smooth transition towards meaningful emission reductions."

Major reforms to the ETS have also been announced to make it fit for purpose, with a cap on industrial energy and transport emissions, and forester incentives simplified.

"This will help keep our planet safe for future generations. With the world changing at break-neck speed, these changes will drive us towards a low emissions country," says Minister for Climate Change James Shaw.

"Changes also align the purpose of the ETS with the Zero Carbon Act and the Paris Agreement, so that New Zealand doing its bit to limit global warming to 1.5C."

"Farmers understand that a changing climate affects them and many are already making changes on-farm to meet that challenge and to enhance our reputation for safe and sustainable food production while maintaining our competitiveness in international markets," says Minister of Agriculture Damien O'Connor.

"The agreement with sector leaders shows the value of collaboration and provides certainty for farmers, but the hard work begins now to develop the tools and systems to account for on-farm emissions in 2025.

"The Government will back that with investment in research, extension services and advice for farmers."

Today's agreement delivers on commitments in the Coalition and Confidence and Supply Agreements and is the latest step in the Government's plan that has seen it take more action on climate change in the past two years than the previous 30 years.

Government’s actions to date on climate change

  •   •  The Zero Carbon Bill to get us to zero net emissions by 2050

  •   •  Making clean and electric cars more available

  •   •  Planting 1 billion trees

  •   •  Stopped the permitting of new offshore oil and gas exploration

  •   •  Setting up a $100 million green investment fund

  •   •  Making renewable energy like windfarms and solar easier to build

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3 Comments
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Money talks

Posted on 24-10-2019 19:30 | By

Guess who runs the country?

It is

Posted on 24-10-2019 11:49 | By Merlin

It is good to see the farmers and the government have come up with something that is mutually acceptable which is good to tackle this problem but I guess Simon will do a negative on it as usual.

Emmissions

Posted on 24-10-2019 09:52 | By Pensioner

Follow a cow for miles and you may get shat on if you are too close but you will live. Follow a car with exhaust fumes and you will die of carbon monoxide poisoning. So what should the government be doing instead of harassing the hardworking farmers. You should get your facts straight first. Sleep in a barn full of animals and you will wake in the morning warm. Sleep in a barn with vehicles running and you won’t wake up. Jacinda needs to open her eyes and put the blame where it lies. Farmers are just scapegoats for the lazy people.