New Zealand’s government intends to charge agricultural emissions, including those connected to the burps, urine, and manure from livestock like cows and sheep, in an effort to help the nation achieve its climate change objectives.
2025 is the target date for the implementation of the “agricultural emissions-pricing scheme.” The document describes sequestration as “the process of extracting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,” and it was launched this week. The consultation, which will last through November 18, will look at taxes, transition support, and sequestration.
The government stated that the levy’s proceeds would be “recycled back into the agriculture industry through new technologies, research, and incentive payments to farmers.”
Both the He Waka Eke Noa – Primary Sector Climate Action Partnership’s June suggestion and the emissions reduction plan issued in May 2022 included the idea of implementing such a system by the middle of this decade.
Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister of New Zealand, endorsed the proposals in a statement on Tuesday. This fulfils our commitment to charge agriculture emissions starting in 2025 and is a significant step forward in New Zealand’s transition to a low-emission future, according to her.
Our farmers will profit from being early adopters because no other nation in the world has yet created a system for pricing and decreasing agricultural emissions, continued Ardern.
Although agriculture contributes significantly to New Zealand’s economy, including exports, it also produces a sizeable portion of the nation’s emissions.
Authorities claimed that greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, specifically carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane, accounted for more than half of New Zealand’s total emissions in the consultation document.
The paper claims that urea is the source of carbon dioxide and that urine and manure from cattle are the sources of nitrous oxide. Belching and, to a lesser extent, gas release methane.
Despite having the support of individuals like Ardern, the initiatives have not been well received. The government’s ideas sparked a heated response from Federated Farmers of New Zealand on Tuesday, who claimed they would “tear the guts out of small town New Zealand.”
The chairman of Beef+Lamb New Zealand, Andrew Morrison, was among many who responded to the news by focusing on the sequestration problem.
The proposed changes to sequestration, which are crucial for sheep and cattle farmers, are one area of immediate worry, he said. “We need to further analyse these adjustments thoroughly,” he added.
Our farmers are among the first to experience the effects of climate change, Morrison continued, so “we know we have a responsibility to play in addressing it.”
“However, it is crucial that farmers receive fair acknowledgement for the genuine sequestration occurring on their farms if they are to pay a price for their agricultural emissions starting in 2025.”
Morrison and Sam McIvor, the organization’s CEO, provided more details about their opinions of the ideas in an email to farmers. They claimed that New Zealand was the first nation in the world to attempt to charge for agricultural emissions.
As one of the world’s most carbon-efficient producers, they continued, “While we recognise our role in lowering emissions, we will not accept a system that disproportionately jeopardises our farmers and communities.”