Friday, April 26, 2024

Feedback sought on Emissions Reduction Plan

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The Government has called for feedback on a discussion document that will form the basis of the country’s first emissions reduction plan.
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The Government has called for feedback on a discussion document that will form the basis of the country’s first emissions reduction plan.

The plan, which will set the direction for climate action through to 2035, says current mid-range projections would see agricultural reductions of 6.5% for biogenic methane and 3.1% for long-lived gases by 2030, relative to 2017 levels.

It says New Zealand’s food and fibre sectors are already some of the most emissions-efficient producers in the world, but they need support to become even more sustainable and meet our targets. 

“The sector has already committed to doing its part to meet our 2030 biogenic methane target,” it says.

“This will require widespread changes in farm practice, new technology and more investment.”

The discussion document identifies pricing, extension and research and development as opportunities for the agricultural sector.

It says the He Waka Eke Noa Primary Sector Climate Action Partnership will bring in a farm-level pricing scheme by 2025, which will encourage farmers to reduce their emissions through currently available practices.

The document says extension and effective advisory services will help farmers and growers gain knowledge and resources to measure, manage and reduce their emissions, while investment in research and development of technology, such as methane inhibitors and a methane vaccine, will also be vital.

“Using new technologies, farmers could contribute to more ambitious goals, without needing costly offset mechanisms or substantial change in land use,” the document said.

“These actions are expected to have a bigger impact in later emissions budgets as farm practice changes and new technologies become available, but the work needs to begin now to unlock these opportunities.”

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says the discussion document is not a draft of the Emissions Reduction Plan, rather an opportunity to hear feedback on what should be included in the plan the Government will publish next year.

He says since the final advice of the Climate Change Commission was published in June, conversations have been under way across government about how ministers and agencies can support emissions reductions in their portfolios – and what can be included in the final plan.

“Some of the ideas that have come from these conversations form the basis of the consultation document and are inviting feedback on,” Shaw said.

“Other ideas have already been consulted on – either through previous policy development, or the Climate Change Commission’s consultation – and are not included in this consultation.

“The plan we release next year will need to set out future policy and regulatory change, as well as actions that can be taken by businesses, towns and cities and every community.

“It will also set out how we make the transition in an inclusive and equitable way. The consultation marks the next phase in this work.”

The discussion document, Te hau mārohi ki anamata – Transitioning to a low-emissions and climate-resilient future, is available on the Ministry for the Environment website.

Consultation on the plan is open until 11.59pm, November 24.

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