B+LNZ’s Freshwater and ETS National Webinar highlights policy concerns

// Freshwater

Last week’s Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s Essential Freshwater and Emissions Trading Reform Bill (ETR) webinar attracted nearly 200 participants wanting to understand the proposed policies and their potential impacts on businesses and the environment.

Part of B+LNZ’s new National Webinar series, the online forum featured a presentation by Corina Jordan, B+LNZ’s Environmental Policy Manager who outlined the work B+LNZ has been doing on farmers behalf, engaging with the Government and other industry-good organisations to develop pragmatic policy around freshwater and afforestation.

A video of the webinar can be viewed on the B+LNZ website, see the link below.

Corina explained why B+LNZ was cautiously positive about the government’s recently announced Essential Freshwater policies as the government appeared to have responded to some of the major concerns raised by farmers and by B+LNZ. However, she emphasised that the devil was in the detail and that she needed to see the actual regulations to see how the new rules were written.

B+LNZ is expecting the regulations to be released in late July.

The organisation will be seeking to engage with officials over the coming month to ensure that the regulations matched the policy intent.

Corina was supported on the webinar by B+LNZ’s CEO Sam McIvor who talked about the recently passed Emissions Trading Reform bill. While B+LNZ supported the integration of trees on farms, it has been calling for a mechanism that would prevent productive farmland and rural communities being lost to widespread afforestation.  During the legislative process, B+LNZ met with Ministers, MPs and officials seeking a mechanism, but this was ignored. 

A primary concern is that the recent changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme will see an increase in the price of carbon, which will make carbon farming more profitable in some areas of the country than sheep and beef farming. The way the legislation is drafted does little to encourage a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as it allows unlimited off-setting, particularly by large-scale emitters.

Since last week’s webinar, B+LNZ is pleased that the Sector’s concerns have been aired through mainstream media, including an in-depth look into the issue on TV3’s Newshub and B+LNZ Chairman Andrew Morrison being interviewed by Mike Hosking on NewstalkZB. 

B+LNZ will continue to advocate for a mechanism to be introduced to limit forestry offsetting and are hoping that the recent coverage, and clear support from the New Zealand public, will lead to this being taken up.

Find out more

To view the Essential Freshwater and ETS video go to: 

Watch the Newshub programmes below: 

To listen to Andrew Morrison being interviewed by Mike Hosking, visit the following link: