Friday, July 1, 2022

Emissions pricing workshops ready to roll

Farmers are being urged to register for an emissions pricing options roadshow being held at venues around the country in February.

B+LNZ chief executive Sam McIvor says if agriculture is included in the ETS farmers will lose the benefits of the split gas approach.

Farmers are being urged to register for an emissions pricing options roadshow being held at venues around the country in February.

The roadshow, which begins in New Plymouth and Palmerston North on February 1 and winds up in Napier and Gisborne on February 28, will provide farmers with an opportunity to find out more about the agriculture emissions pricing options that have been developed by the He Waka Eke Noa partnership.

As well as the 30 meetings scheduled around the country, there will also be four evening webinars for farmers who cannot make the meetings, or who do not have a vaccine passport required under the Government’s covid-19 protection framework to attend the events in person.

The roadshow is being run by Beef + Lamb New Zealand, DairyNZ and Federated Farmers and as well as providing information on the options – a farm-level levy, a processor-level hybrid levy or being drawn into the Emissions Trading Scheme – farmers will be able to ask questions about the options and provide feedback on them.

There will also be an online form available for farmers to fill in, whether they go to a meeting or log into one of the webinars.

Under the covid traffic light system, there is no limit on attendance numbers of fully vaccinated people at events held in parts of the country classified as orange but the workshops have been scheduled in a way that should some regions move to red with the expected arrival of the omicron variant and be required to cap numbers at events, there is the option for back-to-back meetings to be held if interest is high enough.

More detail on the options is available on the B+LNZ and DairyNZ websites but further information will be made available at the end of January so farmers will have access to the most up-to-date information possible before the roadshow starts.

The He Waka Eke Noa partnership needs to report back to the Government by April on its preferred emissions pricing option.

By the end of 2022, the Climate Change and Agriculture Ministers must put forward a report outlining the system that will price agricultural emissions as an alternative to the ETS.

B+LNZ chief executive Sam McIvor says it is important the pastoral sector puts forward a viable alternative as if agriculture is included in the ETS farmers will lose the split gas approach achieved in the Zero Carbon Act.

“B+LNZ acknowledges the options are not perfect but we believe the alternatives have advantages over the ETS for sheep, beef and dairy farmers, allowing you to influence change and receive recognition for both on-farm reductions in emissions and for sequestration not eligible under the ETS. 

“The options are a starting point that will evolve as science, measurement and technology allow more accurate recognition of what’s happening on individual farms.”

One way or another, by January 2025, agricultural emissions in NZ will be priced.

Farmers can register for the workshops and webinars on the B+LNZ and DairyNZ websites.

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