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DairyNZ says don't tax farmers

DairyNZ says don't tax farmers

DairyNZ says it would make no sense to tax dairy farmers for greenhouse gas emissions until technology exists to enable farmers to reduce the emissions. It would also be unwise to place obligations on New Zealand's leading industry when none of its international competitors are likely to face similar charges.

In a submission to the Emissions Trading Scheme Review Committee today [4th May], DairyNZ Chairman John Luxton said dairy farmers were willing and capable of adopting farming practices that will increase resource use efficiency and reduce dairying's environment footprint.

"Little exists by way of mitigating technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from dairy farming, so it would be economically unjust to hold farmers liable for those emissions," he said.

He urged the Committee to consider this carefully when deciding the place of agriculture in an emissions trading scheme.

"To do otherwise risks harming a key driver of the New Zealand economy while doing nothing to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. New Zealand already has the world's lowest dairy industry carbon footprint," said Mr Luxton.
In its written submission to the Committee, DairyNZ recommended several changes to the ETS. These include:

- ETS should adopt an output intensity-based approach, linked to international best practice;
- It is essential that farmers have access to proven, practical, economically-viable tools to mitigate agriculture-based gases before they are exposed to any charges associated with their emissions;
- Adopt an on-farm point of obligation to drive behaviour change and reward adoption of mitigation technology and practice;
- Any obligations under an ETS should be accompanied by significant new Crown investment in climate change related R&D, including into mitigation technologies; and
- NZ should seek acceptance of an intensity-based approach, and an equitable and balanced treatment of agriculture in any post-Kyoto multilateral agreement.
- The ETS needs to recognise the negative impact it will have on the New Zealand dairy industry's international competitiveness, given that no other major dairy producing country is intending to include agriculture in its emission system. Such a situation will also incentivise New Zealand farmers to invest offshore rather than at home with carbon leakage the result.


DairyNZ is the industry good organisation representing New Zealand's dairy farmers. Funded by a levy on milksolids, our purpose is to secure and enhance the profitability, sustainability and competitiveness of New Zealand dairy farming. We deliver value to farmers through leadership, influencing, investing, partnering with other organisations and through our own strategic capability. Our work includes research and development to create practical on-farm tools, leading on-farm adoption of best practice farming, promoting careers in dairying and advocating for farmers with central and regional government. For more information, visit

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