B+LNZ’s Chairman Andrew Morrison says that the sheep and beef sector is onboard with addressing climate change and the Primary Sector Climate Change Commitment builds on the work done by the Interim Climate Change Committee (ICCC).
“New Zealand’s sheep and beef farmers are often some of the first to feel the impacts of climate change, and they’ve already played a leading role in combating climate change with the sector reducing its absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent since 1990 through improved farming practices and things like better lambing percentages and higher carcase weights.
“Today’s Primary Sector Climate Change Commitment is an evolution of one of the Interim Climate Change Committee’s recommendations, and seeks to achieve the same outcomes faster than would otherwise be the case,” says Mr Morrison.
“Both the primary sector and ICCC agree that a farm-based pricing mechanism is the best way to get action on biological greenhouse gas emissions. Where we differ is that we think we can make faster progress by working with farmers from the get-go to help reduce on-farm emissions and prepare for farm-based pricing from 2025, rather than having an interim processor levy.”
Mr Morrison says that the ability of the primary sector to fund work on developing a farm-based pricing system through existing resources will provide a win-win situation for farmers and the climate.
“A new and blanket levy at the processor level wouldn’t incentivise any on-farm changes and would be seen as farmers as a new tax, which would undermine farmer’s efforts to make positive changes, especially as individual farmers wouldn’t reap the benefits of any improvements they may make.”
The fact that the whole primary sector has gotten in behind the Climate Change Commitment is something that reflects the seriousness with which farmers view climate change says Mr Morrison.
“I can’t think of any level of cooperation like this in all my years farming, which highlights just how unprecedented the Primary Sector Climate Change Commitment is and just how important farmers view climate change and the threat it poses to rural communities.
“It’s why I’m confident that if we’re going to get emissions reductions and improve the offsets available on farm, we have to ensure we take an approach that incentivises behaviour behind the farm gate and the Primary Sector Climate Change Commitment is the best option to make that happen.”
The full Primary Sector Climate Change Commitment can be found at www.beeflambnz.com/climatechangecommitment
For more information, please contact Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s Senior Communications Advisor Gwynn Compton on 027 838 6353.