Methane targets and other recent announcements

There have been some significant policy-related announcements within the last week or so.

trees on farm

Methane targets – review and consultation 

The Government has announced it will commence an independent review of the methane science and targets for consistency with no additional warming from agricultural methane emissions.  

B+LNZ welcomes this review, as it’s something we’ve been asking for for some time. Methane should only be asked to do what is being asked of the other gases, which is to achieve no additional warming.  

The Climate Change Commission is also consulting publicly on its advice to Government about the emissions reduction targets. 

We’re still working our way through the consultation documents but are disappointed with the assumptions they’ve made, the way they’ve applied those assumptions, and their overall suggestion that the methane targets could be made more ambitious.  

The Commission’s documents reinforce the importance of the separate independent review process, which should take a more consistent and holistic view of how warming should be applied in policy.  

We understand the Government will consider both the independent review and the Climate Change Commission consultation outcomes in making its decision about the targets at the end of the year.  

We encourage farmers to make a submission to this consultation before it closes on 31 May. We’ll be providing more information to assist you with your submission soon. In the meantime, documents about the three related consultations are available on the Commission’s website

B+LNZ will be making a submission on the review and the consultation.  

Other recent policy announcements by the Government 

The Government has also made some other positive agriculture-related policy announcements recently and we’re working to ensure sheep and beef interests are front and centre as the details are worked through. The announcements relate to: 

  • amending the RMA in relation to individual consents for freshwater  
  • suspending the requirement for councils to identify and adopt Significant Natural Areas 
  • keeping agriculture out of the ETS.  

They have also announced they will improve freshwater farm plans. We also welcome this and will be talking to Ministers and officials about the details.