The Government won’t include agriculture in a review of how to best meet a reduced greenhouse gas emissions target after 2020.
Climate Change Issues Minister Tim Groser said a review of the country’s Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) has been launched and will look at how the scheme may need to ‘evolve to support New Zealand in meeting this new target’.
The review is primarily aimed at businesses – iwi – the forestry sector – energy users and non-governmental organisations.
‘The Government has decided not to include agriculture in the scope of the review’ Groser said.
This is because a decision was made to only include agriculture if there were ‘economically viable and practical technologies to reduce these emissions’.
Groser said considerable investment and research was going into finding technologies to reduce agricultural emissions and while that continued the industry would remain off the table in terms of the NZ ETS review.
But the Green Party said National was doing a ‘long-term disservice to farmers who need to start having a discussion now about how and when farmers should be exposed to an emissions price’.
‘Agriculture will be a key part of the discussions at the Paris climate talks next week and it shows extremely bad faith for the Government to take it off the table before a deal has even been reached’ Green Party MP Kennedy Graham said.
Agriculture – which makes up 47 per cent of New Zealand’s emissions must be part of the discussion – he said.