Government plan threatens industry consensus

Today’s farm emissions announcement threatens the industry consensus by failing to recognise New Zealand farmers are already the most carbon efficient in the world.

National is committed to emissions targets, including reaching carbon Net Zero by 2050, the Paris Climate Agreement and reductions in agricultural emissions.

Broad industry support is crucial for any enduring solution to agricultural emissions – so we are keen to hear what the industry has to say about these proposals.

National recognises New Zealand farmers’ significant contribution to the economy. Agriculture earns half this country’s export revenue.

We are concerned that today’s announcement puts consensus at risk. The Government’s own figures indicate:

  • Sheep and beef farming could reduce by 20 per cent and dairy by 5 per cent by 2030
  • Two-thirds of the reduction in emissions in New Zealand will be undone by higher emissions overseas as jobs and production shift offshore
  • The plan does not allow farmers to earn extra income from on-farm planting and carbon capture.

Worryingly, the large falls in sheep production in New Zealand could lead to higher global emissions as more sheep production moves overseas to less-efficient farms.

This plan could have significant implications for our rural towns and communities. The Government has put at risk the consensus built by He Waka Eke Noa Partnership over three years.

National supports efforts to reduce emissions and we encourage the Government to work with the sector to find an enduring solution.