The document sets out the required action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across a range of areas, including energy, transport, waste, agriculture, construction and financial services.
The Government’s plan acknowledges that reducing emissions on-farm, and meeting Government targets, will require R&D as well as further investment to support farmers through change. Kiwi dairy farmers have the world’s lowest carbon footprint, and the approach aligns with the dairy sector’s commitment to do more, to stay ahead of the competition and reduce environmental impact, while supporting farmers to run successful businesses. It also supports the He Waka Eke Noa partnership between industry, Government and Māori in achieving milestones to measure, manage and reduce emissions.
While DairyNZ broadly supports the approach outlined in the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan discussion document, we will continue to push for:
- Greater research and development investment.
- The Government to start reporting on the warming effect of the different gases (like methane and carbon dioxide), as well as emissions. This would align with international climate change science and would improve Government decision making on climate policy. Find out more on different gas emissions here.
- Adaptable regulations so farmers can start using new technologies as they become available. Right now, we lag behind other countries in the tools to fight climate change because our regulatory system slows down new technology coming to market.
- Understand Government’s extension proposals so we can input into how they will best meet farmers’ needs.
DairyNZ will continue working with farmers, sector partners and Government as the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan progresses, to ensure the best outcomes for dairy farmers and New Zealand.
DairyNZ's submission supports
The Government taking a science/evidence-based approach in setting climate targets and policy direction
- A split gas approach better characterises the differences between long-lived and short-lived gases and is an appropriate science-based target for biogenic methane
- The Government should use a different metric to measure the warming impact of methane (because the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act’s purpose specifically states a temperature goal) as does the draft plan being consulted on)
- The Government should not just talk about emissions but also their warming impacts e.g. Agriculture is often called for being nearly half of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions but it is not half of the warming.
Government's commitment and support of He Waka Eke Noa
- Enabling a successful outcome for He Waka Eke Noa so that this partnership is enduring for business certainty
Government commitment to a long-term, targeted, and well-funded Research and Development plan for new technologies to reduce biogenic methane emissions
Context: Reducing biological emissions is difficult, so continued investment in research and development is critical, along with adaptable regulations so farmers can start using new technologies as they become available.
- Commitment for the Biological Emissions Reduction Science Accelerator (BERSA) process to identify actions and initiatives to accelerate the development and availability of a range of emissions reduction technologies, across the pipeline from knowledge to impact.
- A long-term plan and commensurate investment for targeted research and development of new technologies to reduce biogenic methane emissions - consistent with the Government signing up to the recent Global Methane Pledge at COP26
- A robust R&D strategy so that scientific breakthroughs on agricultural greenhouse gases in New Zealand can contribute to global efforts.
- The impact of new technology and on-farm benefits needs a clear pathway for recognition towards our domestic targets through the National Inventory.
Consideration of impacts of new policy on rural communities and farmers
Context: All Government policy is to be “rural proofed” i.e. it needs to take account of rural communities context and starting points.
- Commitment to ramp up extension services for farmers so they can assess their options and implement their plans to report and manage greenhouse gas emissions
- Better modelling and discussion of the distributional impacts of Government policies on rural communities, not just climate policies but all Government policies.