Draft plan for NZ emissions pricing released

by | Jun 15, 2022 | Global, News

The primary sector climate action partnership He Waka Eke Noa (HWEN) in New Zealand has released its draft framework to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, proposing to price farming emissions and incentivise reductions. Under the plan, farmers will pay for their gas emissions from 2025 with short- and long-lived farm gases priced separately while a single measure to calculate volumes will be used. Agriculture gases will be subject to levies to incentivise reduction efforts through use of feed additives and on-farm forestry can also be used to offset emissions. Revenue from the scheme will be invested in research, development and advisory services for farmers. Exclusions apply, meaning dairy farms with fewer than 50 cows, hobby farms and meat farms under certain sizes are not subject to the scheme unless they use more than 40t of nitrogen per year. Farms can also pair up to report their emissions.

The agriculture sector has proposed oversight by a co-governing system with Beef+Lamb NZ, DairyNZ and Horticulture NZ nominating members to the board with the industry working jointly with the Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers to make these appointments. This board will provide advice on the rate charged on methane and longer-lived gases as well as make recommendations for the carbon price for sequestration from vegetation.

Climate advocates have scolded the proposal with leading freshwater ecologist Mike Joy calling it “pathetic” while industry body DairyNZ has called it a “win-win” for all New Zealanders. DairyNZ chair Jim van der Poel said it hadn’t been easy reaching a solution but called the draft proposal fit for purpose. Van der Poel said NZ farmers want to be recognised for their own emissions and not just an industry average. He said farmers want to be rewarded for behavioural change and work on-farm to reduce emissions which is in the proposal.