“DairyNZ has real concerns that, because of delays in the process, there will not be enough time to implement the scheme before the Government’s intended start date of January 1, 2025, and that, as a result, farmers may end up in a processor-level system through no fault of their own,” says Mr van der Poel.
“We are also extremely disappointed to see the role of the oversight body has been significantly reduced, with advice to be provided to the Climate Change Commission, not directly to the minister, for consideration. This, in our view, is a key issue we will continue to work on.”
Government has also confirmed the Climate Change Commission will be required to consider scientific developments such as GWP* (an advanced metric for measuring methane emissions) when it reviews emissions reduction targets in 2024.
DairyNZ welcomes this news, as it has previously called on the Government to use the latest and best science when setting methane targets. The current metric overstates the warming impact of methane emissions by three to four times when emissions are stable, as they are in New Zealand.
The Government has legislated to put agriculture into the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) but agreed to work with the sector on finding a better alternative. Earlier this year the primary sector partnership delivered recommendations to the Government that would actually reduce emissions and recognise and incentivise on-farm actions, including sequestration. It also would drive investment in research and development, to find new solutions.
New Zealand is committed to reducing emissions through being signed up to the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius, preferably below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“DairyNZ will continue to advocate strongly on behalf of farmers and rural communities to resolve these issues and ensure the Government’s high-level direction aligns with the detail, when we see it early next year,” says Mr van der Poel.
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