The Government has confirmed the next steps in its partnership with the primary sector to develop a strategy for on-farm carbon sequestration.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor made the announcement at Fieldays on Wednesday.
They told media that on-farm sequestration will be a core component of the Government's work to reduce New Zealand's agricultural carbon emissions.
Carbon sequestration is the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide.
“We want a plan for reducing agricultural emissions we can all agree on. We’ve heard sequestration is a top priority for farmers and critical to making He Waka Eke Noa work,” the Prime Minister said.
Ardern explained that the recent consultation with He Waka Eke Noa, the Climate Change Commission and the Government has highlighted how important sequestration is to farmers.
“The best way to achieve sustainable emissions reduction is by working together. The Government remains committed to He Waka Eke Noa and we are pleased to undertake this important work on sequestration with farmers to help deliver it,” she said.
Damien O'Connor said the industry has asked for a plan that covers all forms of scientifically-robust sequestration possible on-farm, affirming they support this request and will undertake a close partnership with the sector.
James Shaw said the proposal represents a significant shift in the way the Emissions Trading Scheme works.
“It means farmers will get full recognition for scientifically proven sequestration on their farms. This should unlock a wave of research, science and innovation into forms of emissions removal that also enhance biodiversity and other important values that aren’t always achieved through exotic forestry plantations," the Climate Minister explained.
In line with the Primary Sector Partnership’s original proposal, the Government is committed to sequestration being recognised from 2025.
Listen to the full press address above.