Pricing must cut agriculture emissions

Cutting climate pollution must be the number one priority for Cabinet when considering how it intends to price agricultural emissions, the Green Party says. 

“Agreeing an emissions pricing system that meets New Zealand’s climate goals will help rural communities flourish, position New Zealand as a world-leader in climate friendly farming, and help ensure a safer planet for future generations,” Green Party agriculture spokesperson Teanau Tuiono said.

Earlier today the Government released the advice it received from the Climate Change Commission about how ready farmers and the broader agriculture sector are for emissions pricing. The advice identifies the areas where progress has been made, while also pointing to areas where more work needs to be done. 

“We can have a thriving and sustainable farming sector that is good for farmers, good for communities, and good for the planet. The Emissions Reduction Plan the Government published in May identified emissions pricing as one of the key tools for achieving that vision. To achieve that, emissions pricing needs the right settings.

“Over the next eight years we have to reduce our biogenic methane emissions by at least ten percent compared to what they were in 2017. The fact is, most of those emission reductions will have to come from changing the way we farm. While many farmers and growers are already doing the right thing for the climate, time is running out. 

“The decision Cabinet has to take before the end of the year about how it intends to implement an emissions pricing system will shape the future of farming for many years to come. If Cabinet gets it right, we will have a huge opportunity ahead of us to transform Aotearoa New Zealand’s farming sector from being one of the biggest impacts on our climate into one of its biggest solutions.

“The Green Party will be looking to Cabinet to agree on an emissions pricing system that will not only meet the climate change targets the Government has put into law but also support farmers to switch to low emissions and regenerative farming practices,” Teanau Tuiono said.

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