Farmers continue to grapple with controversial Agricultural Emissions Proposal despite delay

Farmers continue to grapple with controversial Agricultural Emissions Proposal despite delay

The Government's announcement to delay mandatory reporting of farm emissions until the end of 2024, instead of the beginning has seen continued pushback from the farming community, provoking a storm of controversy ahead of the upcoming election.

Initially planned for 2024, farmers won't have to start paying for those emissions until the end of 2025, almost a year later than initially planned.              

Chair of Beef & Lamb NZ Kate Acland told REX host Dominic George the policy would only add to the seemingly constantly growing list of obstacles for Kiwi farmers. 

"Putting a price on those emissions is just not going to get the outcome any faster," she said. 

"All it's going to do is drive people off their farms."

Acland acknowledged the farming community's efforts to reduce emissions over the past few years, concerned that the proposed pricing could penalise even the most efficient farmers.

"New Zealand should be incredibly proud of our agricultural sector. We have been improving every year and that is through efficiency gains."

Despite the frustrations and potential setbacks, Acland sees a glimmer of hope in the fact that the government is looking at widening the sequestration categories. 

"We're absolutely thrilled that they are looking at widening the 80 years categories to include more types of sequestration." 

However, she emphasised the need for this recognition to be implemented before any pricing system is put into place.

While the sector leaders are committed to finding a way through the controversy, she highlighted the need for a balanced approach that works for both parties. 

"Here in New Zealand, it's about getting that balance. We, as I said before, absolutely are among the most efficient producers of food in the world."

Acland touched on the topic of global collaboration for climate impact. She voiced her opinion that market incentives make more sense than government taxation for driving change, a sentiment that is likely to resonate with many in the agricultural sector.

Listen to the full chat between Chair of Beef & Lamb NZ Kate Acland and Dominic George above.

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