New Zealand will set taxes on greenhouse gases from the country’s farms as low as possible so as not to overburden primary producers.
The most important thing is to put in place a permanent emissions reduction system,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a statement in Auckland on Wednesday. while ensuring that the system is robust and meets our emission reduction targets.”
In October, the government announced it would tax agricultural emissions at farm level instead of including them in the Emissions Trading Scheme. Farmers protested being required to pay a regulated price for their methane, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions, saying it would force many of their land to reduce the country’s exports and harm rural communities.
Today’s response follows a period of industry submission and represents a “workable system,” Ardern said. It includes a five-year path for levies starting in 2025 to give farmers peace of mind and will also allow industry to contribute to the assessment process, she said.
As announced in October, ministers will set the levies based on the recommendations of the climate commission. However, the Government has agreed that a panel of representatives from the agricultural sector and MÄori will provide advice and act as a conduit for sector input.
The government is also working with the sector to develop a process for recognizing carbon sequestration from on-farm cultivation so that it can be used to offset emissions taxes.
Ardern said the government’s shared goal with industry is to help farmers increase exports, reduce emissions and maintain the sector’s international competitive advantage.
“New Zealand needs to be at the forefront to remain competitive in a market that increasingly demands sustainably produced products,” she said.
Partners at industry group He Waka Eke Noa, which includes Beef+Lamb New Zealand, Dairy New Zealand and the Meat Industry Association, said the government is moving in the right direction but the details still need to be worked out.
They welcomed a pledge to consider social, cultural and economic impacts when setting emissions prices, as well as a pledge to recognize all categories of sequestration in principle, they said in a statement. They said there was no support for an approach that pushes emissions reductions at all costs.
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/forestry-enviro/environment/new-zealand-farm-emissions-tax-to-be-lowest-possible-ardern-says-42237519.html New Zealand’s farm emissions tax should be as low as possible, says Ardern