Beef + Lamb New Zealand chief executive Sam McIvor says it’s incredibly important that farmers make their voices heard.
“We need the Government to listen. What they proposed is significantly different from what the He Waka Eke Noa partners recommended, and if implemented would have a disproportionate impact on the sheep and beef sector.”
McIvor says there’s still time to make a submission. “We’ve made it easy for farmers, even at this late stage. You can use the pre-written template we’ve created and send it automatically to the Ministry for the Environment.”
The pre-written template is on B+LNZ’s website here.
McIvor says that in addition to urging farmers to make their own submissions, B+LNZ has been gathering farmer feedback as part of developing its own submission on the Government’s proposals.
He says he and other B+LNZ staff and Board directors have been on the road recently talking to farmers about what the Government has put forward.
“Thanks to all of you who provided feedback. I can assure you we heard what you had to say.
“Many of you expressed concern that the emissions reduction targets are too high. We absolutely agree, and are already working across the sector with dairy, deer and arable on a strategy to get the Government to use the latest science and use more appropriate metrics like GWP* to review the targets and see that reflected in the emissions pricing.
“There were lots of concerns raised about the effect of the Government’s proposals on the viability of your farming businesses and the impacts on your communities. These concerns informed our work to keep agriculture out of the ETS (which Government has now agreed with) and to push the Government to take a cautious approach to pricing.
“Pricing needs to be as low as possible to achieve reductions and farmers need certainty around pricing. There also needs to be clear and fair criteria around setting levies. The criteria should include the viability of businesses, emissions leakage, availability of technologies as well as progress towards targets. All this was originally recommended by He Waka Eke Noa and we’ll keep fighting for it.
“You reiterated how important adequate recognition of sequestration is. The Government’s proposals are unacceptable and full recognition of sequestration as proposed by He Waka Eke Noa is an absolute priority.
“You also told us that all levies paid should be recycled back to the sector for R&D and supporting technology uptake, and that we shouldn’t just inadvertently create emissions leakage overseas by reducing food production in New Zealand. Equity across sectors, tracking progress by sector and potential support for those with no current options for reducing emissions were also important to you.”
These concerns are reflected in B+LNZ’s submission.
B+LNZ’s submission will be published soon and it will be included in next week’s e-diaries. We’ll also let you know how you can view the submission made on behalf of the 11 industry and Māori groups in the He Waka Eke Noa partnership.