Farmers – have a say at emissions pricing roadshow

31 January 2022

Farmers are urged to have their say on one of the biggest decisions facing agriculture this decade – how on-farm emissions will be priced from 2025.

DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb New Zealand and Federated Farmers are bringing a roadshow to the regions in February to hear farmers’ views.

The roadshow is going ahead in the red Covid traffic light setting to ensure full participation by farmers but the schedule has been revised. Key health and safety measures will be in place to ensure the wellbeing of attendees and speakers.

“We want farmers to ask direct questions and have robust discussion. Farmers can also give their feedback online and we’re hosting webinars so farmers who can’t attend the roadshow are well informed and can have a say,” says DairyNZ chairman Jim van der Poel.

“Because of the time needed to adapt our roadshow arrangements due to the red traffic light setting, we’re investigating an extension to timelines. This will allow us to properly engage and account for the uncertainties raised by Covid developments,” B+LNZ chairman Andrew Morrison says.

Feedback is being sought on two emissions pricing options developed by the world-first Primary Sector Climate Action Partnership, He Waka Eke Noa, which includes DairyNZ, B+LNZ and Federated Farmers. The partnership was created to come up with a better solution after the Government legislated to put agriculture emissions into the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS).

These options would deliver more positive outcomes for farmers and New Zealand than the NZ ETS. The options (a farm-level levy and processor-level hybrid levy) are more practical and reward positive change, while still achieving environmental outcomes.

Following initial farmer feedback on the options in December, the partners are also putting forward a two-phased approach, starting with the processor-level hybrid levy option and transitioning to a farm level system in future.

The importance of accurate and fair targets and metrics for methane is also expected to come up at the roadshow. Climate change decisions need to account for methane’s different warming impact in the atmosphere compared to long-lived gases. He Waka Eke Noa pricing already recognises that methane is different to CO2 through the split gas approach.

DairyNZ and B+LNZ believe both the 2030 and 2050 methane targets need to be continually reviewed as the science evolves. The next formal review by the Climate Change Commission is set for 2024. DairyNZ and B+LNZ will listen to farmer views and advocate for targets that are science-based and work for farmers, while meeting consumer and public expectations.

A copy of the revised roadshow schedule can be found at:

dairynz.co.nz/roadshow
beeflambnz.com/emissions-pricing-consultation

People who have already registered will be contacted after alternative arrangements are confirmed.

About the roadshow
  • The DairyNZ, B+LNZ and Federated Farmers’ emissions pricing options roadshow will be held in regions nationwide in February 2022.
  • The consultation documents will be released publicly on 31 January 2022.
  • In addition to the roadshow, farmers can give their feedback online from 1 February via the DairyNZ and B+LNZ websites.
  • Feedback was originally due to close on 1 March, but DairyNZ and B+LNZ are seeking an extension in the timeframes to ensure we can properly engage with farmers during this time disrupted by Covid.
  • Locations: Meetings will be held in the following regions:
    • North Island: Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Taranaki, Manawatu-Whanganui and Wairarapa
    • South Island: Marlborough, Tasman, West Coast, Canterbury, South Canterbury, Central Otago, North Otago, South Otago, Southland
  • Registration is essential to ensure Covid-19 requirements are met.
  • For more information: (including meeting dates and times, to register, see information on what is proposed and give feedback online): go to dairynz.co.nz/roadshow or beeflambnz.com/emissions-pricing-consultation
Roadshow safety steps under the Covid -19 Protection Framework
  • The roadshow will comply with the Covid-19 Protection Framework.
  • A maximum of 100 people can attend each meeting. For this reason, the roadshow is prioritising farmers as attendees. DairyNZ and B+LNZ are briefing other interested parties including rural professionals and dairy companies by other means.
  • Attendees will sign in via the NZ Covid Tracer app and show their My Vaccine Pass on the day.
  • Masks will be worn and social distancing observed.
Background: Agriculture emissions pricing options
  • “Pricing is coming and doing nothing is not an option. The Government has already put into law that if we don’t come up with a credible alternative, agriculture will go straight into the NZ ETS and sooner than 2025,” Mr van der Poel says.
  • “We’ve advocated strongly to prevent agriculture going into the NZ ETS and to develop credible alternative pricing options that protect and reward farmers and invest revenue back into agriculture. The Government has agreed to listen, so it’s important farmers tell us what they think.”
  • Mr Morrison says: “Many farmers have worked hard to reduce emissions and are willing to play their part. They just want to ensure that what they’re asked to do is fair and equitable – and gives them choice and control. We collectively agree and that’s why the NZ ETS would not work for agriculture.”
  • Farmer feedback is critical to inform the recommendations He Waka Eke Noa makes on a preferred option that will be provided to the Government. The Government will make final decisions which is why it is so important farmers have a say now.
  • Under the NZ ETS, farmers wouldn’t be recognised and rewarded for their work to reduce emissions and their option for reducing costs is to make stock reductions. The system must incentivise good actions on farm. Instead, rising NZ ETS costs would make it harder for Kiwi farmers to remain internationally competitive.
  • If the NZ ETS erodes New Zealand agriculture’s competitiveness on the world stage, that will impact export earnings and agriculture’s contribution to the economy, affecting all New Zealanders.
  • Mr Morrison says: “While they’re not perfect, the options we’ve come up with recognise there are different impacts on different farm systems which this process is going to involve. The alternative options are better for farmers than the NZ ETS and the system can be developed and improved over time as science, measurement and technology evolves.
  • “We can also have a much wider range of trees on farms recognised for sequestration. If farmers are going to have to pay for their emissions, it’s only fair they get proper recognition for the sequestration happening on their farms, starting with trees and ultimately other sources.”
  • Mr van der Poel says: “These options recognise the different warming impact of methane and the split gas approach we fought hard for in the Zero Carbon Act. The revenue generated under the scheme will be reinvested back into the sector to incentivise R&D and reduce emissions.
  • “We want to build on the good work farmers are already doing, maintain a level of control over our futures, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure Kiwi farmers maintain our competitive advantage on the global stage.”
  • The Primary Sector Climate Action Partnership, He Waka Eke Noa consists of 10 primary sector organisations as well as the Federation of Māori Authorities, the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Ministry for the Environment.

Media contact

Ali Tocker
Dairy NZ Media Specialist
027 364 7532
ali.tocker@dairynz.co.nz

Katie Jans
Beef + Lamb New Zealand
Senior Communications and Advisor
027 838 6353
katie.jans@beeflambnz.com