Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Climate Change Commission to explain advice

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The Climate Change Commission is holding a Zoom session to let farmers know about the work it is doing to develop advice on agricultural emissions pricing.
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Climate Change Commission principal analysts Sally Garden and Phil Wiles have been leading the commission’s work looking into agricultural emissions pricing advice.

The Climate Change Commission is holding a Zoom session to let farmers know about the work it is doing to develop advice on agricultural emissions pricing.

Sally Garden, one of the commission’s principal analysts leading the work, said there are two separate but closely related pieces of advice it’s working on with respect to agriculture emissions pricing.

One is assessing how ready farmers are for farm-level emissions pricing.

That advice is something that it is required to do under the Climate Change Response Act.

The other piece of advice is looking at what financial assistance, if any, participants in a farm-level pricing scheme should get.

The work looking at farmer readiness for farm-level emissions pricing is in two parts.

One is assessing whether primary sector climate change commitments, which are in the Climate Change Response Act, are being met.

“We’ve been looking at the progress reporting that’s been happening through He Waka Eke Noa, diving into that a little bit to understand whether those commitments are on track to be met,” Garden said.

“Then in terms of looking at farmer readiness, we’ve built a framework for how we’re going to look at that and look at how ready farmers are for a farm-level system.”

She said the commission does not know what system the He Waka Eke Noa (HWEN) partnership will propose but the framework will help them assess it when that is confirmed.

“At the end of last year we did a lot of engagement, trying to make sure that the way we are proposing to approach it our framework was looking at the right things,” she said.

“We met with local government, rural professionals, NGOs, researchers and academics to test the way we’re going about it, to make sure we’re thinking about the right things.”

The commission is now starting to focus more on engaging with farmers directly to find out how ready they feel for what might be coming their way.

Another of the commission’s principal analysts, Phil Wiles, said HWEN have been sharing a lot of their thoughts with the commission.

“So we’ve been looking at what they’ve been doing,” Wiles said.

He said everything the commission does is supposed to be independent and evidence based.

“That independence means we don’t just take their word as given, we take it, look at it through an independent lens, give our perspective on what we think of it and bring that into our advice,” he said.

He said usually they would work with sector groups like DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb but that’s not possible in this instance.

“We have to take a slightly different approach because we need to be independent of He Waka Eke Noa, and they are members of He Waka Eke Noa, so we’re trying to go through different avenues to talk to farmers outside of that structure which already exists,” he said.

Garden said the Zoom session, on February 23 from noon to 1pm, is to let farmers know about the work that is being done and how it is being approached.

“We’re not at the stage in our work yet where we’re going to be able to talk about our findings or anything like that,” she said.

“It’s really talking about what we’re doing, why, what the Government has asked us to do, what are the sort of things we’re going to cover, where does our advice fit into the bigger decisions that’s going to have to be made.

“The Government is going to have to make a decision at the end of the year about how agricultural emissions will be priced and our advice is just one piece of what they are going to have to think about when they make that decision.”

The two separate pieces of advice have two separate timeframes.

The work on what, if any, financial assistance scheme participants should get is meant to be delivered at the same time as HWEN.

No decision has been made at this stage whether the April 30 delivery date will stay the same or will be extended a month to match HWEN’s new deadline.

The other piece of advice, around how ready farmers are, is due on June 30.

Registrations for the Zoom session can be made on the events page of the commission’s website.

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