Zero Carbon Bill nearly here

9 December 2018

The dairy sector will look very different in 2050, spurred on by our collective work to reduce agricultural emissions and meet a new 2050 target, says DairyNZ senior policy advisor Milena Scott.

The content of the Zero Carbon Bill is likely to be announced this month, and is expected to  be  legislated next year. The Bill will commit New Zealand to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. For the dairy sector, this will require us to take action to reduce methane and nitrous oxide.

There has been widespread support among the agricultural sector for a reduction and stabilisation of methane levels in order to meet our climate change targets and safeguard our reputation as a producer of environmentally sustainable agriculture.

Our latest research shows we can reduce levels up to 10 percent with existing mitigation options. In time, greater reductions will be achievable as we continue improving the way we use our land, and as methane- reducing technologies are developed.

All farms are different, and not all options discussed in the Dairy Action for Climate Change workshops this year will be suitable for your farm system. We are committed to supporting you to choose a package of options suitable to your farm system and situation to reduce agricultural emissions.

Many of you are planting trees and constructing or restoring wetlands. We’re also doing significant work to improve cow productivity.

By 2050, our sector will be more sustainable, more productive and – importantly – still world-class.

Learn more at


Message from Hon James Shaw, Minister for Climate Change issues:

I want to thank New Zealand farmers, farming organisations, and farming support networks, including DairyNZ, for taking on climate change – even while the sector has also had to handle Mycoplasma bovis and other challenges.

I’ve been welcomed onto farms all over New Zealand and it’s clear that farmers see the climate challenge and are moving to meet it.

I know farmers are stewards of the land and that you’re practical people. Farmers have told me they want to do their bit, but need to know they’ll have tools to make the transition and that their actions will be recognised.

I’ve taken those concerns on board. We’re working on ways to help with the transition and to help farmers take advantage of this change so they can prosper in the future.

Agriculture is an integral part of New Zealand, which  is why farming leadership and determination is critical in our climate change strategy. It’s also why I’m optimistic that our little country can show the world how to feed more people more productively, more profitably and more sustainably.



Media inquiries:

Lee Cowan
Senior Engagement & Communications Manager
021 930 836

Vanessa Feaver
Senior Communications & Media Specialist
027 836 6295

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