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Agriculture industry needs to step up on climate change

After kicking the can down the road for decades, the Government and agriculture industry have now agreed to a price on agriculture emissions, which is woefully inadequate and won't be implemented until 2025.

"The industry has agreed to a mere 1 cent per kilo of milk powder. That seems more a symbolic gesture than a real contribution," says Forest & Bird spokesperson Geoff Keey.

“If you entirely filled your supermarket trolley with milk powder you might incur a couple of dollars.That's just not good enough. The agriculture industry needs to step up on climate change - an issue which could threaten their entire existence.”

Under the Government’s proposal, pricing for the agriculture sector will not be implemented until 2025, and they'll receive a 95% discount on the cost of their emissions.

"We've got councils around New Zealand declaring climate emergencies, and the Government devoting millions help the agriculture sector respond to climate change, but the industry will not adopt emissions pricing for another six years. That's not acting with urgency," says Mr Keey.

"The longer we take to reduce our emissions, the more we are loading the problem onto future generations. We need farmers to face incentives to reduce and offset their greenhouse emissions right now."

“We all know climate change will hit nature hard with more floods, more fires, coastal inundation, and more droughts. We will all be affected, including farmers. The agriculture industry needs to do more to protect the communities and the endangered native animals threatened by climate change.”

Today is the last day for people to make submissions on the Zero Carbon Bill.

Background for journalists:

According to the Government's media release, with a 95% discount on emissions, at the current NZ Emissions Trading Scheme price of $25/tonne, it’s estimated:
• the average dairy farm would incur $0.01 per kg of milk solids
• the average cost on meat production is estimated at $0.01 per kg of beef, $0.03 per kg of sheep meat, and $0.04 per kg of venison.
Government assistance to the agriculture sector includes:
• $229 million in the Wellbeing Budget for sustainable land use - $122 million of this to support the on-farm changes required to unlock more value and use land more sustainably
• $60 million for agricultural climate change solutions and to improve the OVERSEER on-farm emissions data measurement tool.

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