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Agricultural emissions pricing consultation period concludes

Industry consultation on agricultural emissions pricing options has finished. The majority of arable respondents (56%) preferred the Farm Level Option. This information has been passed on to the He Waka Eke Noa team, who are working on a recommendation to present to the Ministers by the end of May. If HWEN is unable to deliver a workable option to the government, agriculture will go into the Emissions Trading Scheme in 2025.

Summary from He Waka Eke Noa - Primary Sector Climate Action Partnership Programme Director Kelly Forster.

"Thank you to the thousands of farmers and growers who have engaged in the consultation process on options for emission pricing. The Partnership is considering all suggestions put in front of them. They must recommend a credible emissions pricing system by the end of May, or the Government will include agriculture in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

"Analysis of the feedback is continuing, but some clear themes are coming through.

“There is a large amount of concern about the potential impact of any levy on the financial viability of farming. Farmers told us they want a system that recognises the steps they are already taking and provides them with practical tools to reduce emissions, rather than simply imposing a price.

“There is a clear preference for a Farm-level option, as it gives farmers control over managing their farm businesses and emissions profile, and provides direct incentives for action on-farm. At the same time, there are concerns about aspects of this option, including equity and availability of mitigation options across different types of farming, administrative costs, and the sector’s readiness to implement the system by 2025.

“We are looking closely at suggestions put forward in relation to these aspects.”

He Waka Eke Noa is designing an alternative pricing system to the NZ ETS for agricultural emissions. They are seeking a system which will:

  • Recognise and reward on-farm changes that reduce emissions
  • Apply a split-gas approach to recognise the difference in climate impact between different gases
  • Recognise on-farm sequestration that the NZ ETS does not
  • Ensure that revenue generated helps reduce emissions in the agricultural sector.

The Government will consider system recommendations and likely consult the wider public later this year, before making a final decision in December on a pricing system for agricultural emissions.