ETS Announcement a mixed bag for Agriculture-Federated Farmers press release


Just last week, the Wall Street Journal described New Zealand’s climate variation response as ‘lunacy’. The Government hasn’t listened to this advice and today’s announcement confirming agriculture will be included in the ETS is highly disappointing.
“This announcement means farmers will not only have to pay additional costs on their energy inputs like other businesses, but will also have to pay for their animals’ emissions,” says Don Nicolson, Federated Farmers President.
“This is a global issue about global emissions. New Zealand is a not big emitter like China, the United States or Europe, none of which are including agriculture in their ETS.
“We argued that New Zealand farmers are already among the most efficient food producers on the planet. Right now farmers will have no choice other than to de-stock in order to mitigate emissions. This is the equivalent of New Zealand experiencing a drought lasting several long years. Is that what New Zealand wants?
“We do, however, take some consolation from the fact the Government has listened to Federated Farmers and pushed back agriculture’s entry date into the ETS and changed the abatement rate.  There are some other proposed changes that still need close examination, as the devil is certainly in the detail.
“While Prime Minister John Key kept his promise to bring our entry date in line with that of Australia’s, the Federation is still adamant there is no place for agricultural emissions in the ETS. 
“This is why the Government must seek to remove agriculture at Copenhagen in December.  Changes must also be sought to land use flexibility and wood harvest rules.
“New Zealand’s farmers are custodians of our land and water resource and have successfully done so for generations. But while we support efficient and sustainable resource use, we have big concerns over the impact of an ETS.
“This announcement is a mixed bag and we will be following up on the detail with ministers and other parties in Parliament. The battle is not over by a long shot,” Mr Nicolson concluded.
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