Agricultural emissions deal welcomed as first step

The plan announced today for farmers to reduce emissions is a step in the right direction for New Zealand’s efforts to meet its Paris Agreement commitments as all sectors need to share the burden of taking action, says the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ).

“As a global and ‘all of economy’ problem, we believe it is fair for all sectors and gases to be liable under the ETS. Emissions trading schemes operate at their most efficient when their coverage is at its broadest as they incentivise innovation and allow the cheapest emissions reductions to be found wherever they are. 

“It is important that the deal on agricultural emissions announced today does not mean there will be an even heavier burden on households and other industries to reach our soon-to-be legislated 2050 emissions target,” says PEPANZ spokesman Phil Rennie.

“Agriculture makes up just under half of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions. Reduced liability for any one sector means the cost of reaching net zero will then have to be carried by others.

“Electricity prices, petrol and consumer goods are all likely to be more expensive to meet the net zero target and this will be even higher if not every sector contributes fairly.

“We accept that methane may require some flexibility due to the importance of New Zealand’s contribution to global food security, but that flexibility should not compromise New Zealand’s energy and fuel affordability by forcing other sectors to carry more than their share of emission reductions.

“However, it is pleasing to see the Government working with industries to find practical ways to lower emissions. We would like to see other sectors offered this same collaborative approach.”