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Comment sought on greenhouse gas research levy

Comment sought on greenhouse gas research levy

The Government is seeking feedback from the agriculture sector on the best way to levy dairy, sheep, beef and deer farmers to fund research into reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.

A discussion document released today seeks comment on the levy mechanism and on the administration, function, structure and governance of an Agricultural Emissions Research body to manage levy expenditure.

The agriculture sector is responsible for over half of New Zealand's total greenhouse gas emissions. In recognition of the importance of agriculture and the absence of cost-effective emission reduction measures at this time, the Government's climate change policy exempts agriculture from emissions charges on these greenhouse gases. In exchange it requires the sector to be the principal funder of research to develop practices and technologies to reduce these emissions.

Although the Government originally thought this research effort might require an increased investment of up to $20 million a year, an independent scientific assessment has found that an extra $8.4 million a year is likely to be enough. An Agriculture Emissions Research body would receive levy funds, manage the research investment and oversee the development and implementation of new emission reduction practices and technologies.

Agricultural sector organisations will be invited to form a technical working group to consider implementation issues. Responses to the discussion document are sought by 31July 2003 and there will be public meetings in Hamilton, Palmerston North, Christchurch and Dunedin early next month.

The consultation document is available on http://www.maf.govt.nz/mafnet/rural-nz/sustainable-resource-use/climate/agricultural-emissions-research-funding/ Hard copies will be available shortly from Sustainable Resource Use Policy, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, PO Box 2526, Wellington. Email: mailto: mailto:Helen.Avery@maf.govt.nz

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