Government expected to announce agriculture will not enter Emissions Trading Scheme

Andrew Hoggard of Federated Farmers.
Andrew Hoggard of Federated Farmers. Photo credit: File

The Government is expected to announce that agriculture will not enter the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), but farmers would pay tax on emissions from 2025 under a scheme they designed.  

Federated Farmers released a statement on Thursday suggesting the Government is going to admit the "ETS has not worked to lower emissions and will not work for agriculture". 

Federated Farmers vice president and climate change spokesperson Andrew Hoggard said the group supports New Zealand playing its part in addressing climate change. 

He said that includes pursuing action consistent with the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement, including "recognising the fundamental priority of food production".

The group's press release suggests a "five-year programme of action" will be announced, "aimed at ensuring farmers and growers are equipped with the knowledge and tools they need to deliver emissions reductions while maintaining profitability". 

It also suggests farmers will "work with Government to design a pricing mechanism where any price is part of a broader framework to support on-farm practice change, set at the margin and only to the extent necessary to incentivise the uptake of economically viable opportunities that contribute to lower global emissions". 

Hoggard said Federated Farmers does not support agricultural emissions going into the ETS - from 2025 or at any other time - without "significant technological and regulatory developments becoming available to farmers".

"We need more tools in the tool box. We are looking forward to exploring all these avenues further with government."