Tuesday, 29 October 2019 10:40

At last a deal on climate change — Editorial

Written by  Staff Reporters
Finally, farmers and the government are working together. Finally, farmers and the government are working together.

OPINION: Primary sector bosses and Government ministers waxed lyrical at a news conference at Parliament on the new deal on agricultural emissions.

It seems the Government has taken farmers’ word that they can cut farm emissions in a way better than the very prescriptive approach the Government was proposing a few months ago.

The news conference heard farming’s two representatives say they were “very proud” to be associated with the agreement and to feel listened to by the Government. They were seeking practical, effective outcomes and believe that the deal will achieve this.

They said farming will work with the Government to design a pricing mechanism whereby any price is part of a broader framework to incentivise the uptake of economically viable opportunities which contribute to lower global emissions. 

Both sides are describing this as a win-win deal, and in fairness it was probably the best that both sides could have hoped for. It’s likely that some farmers will be unhappy and that some ‘green’ elements of the Government may feel aggrieved and claim that farmers are being treated as a special case.

Already Greenpeace is labelling the deal “a sellout”, accusing the Government of buckling to lobbying pressure from the dairy industry and big agribusiness.

For its part, Federated Farmers is happy to be working with the Government via ‘He Waka Eke Noa’ commitment but it continues to oppose agriculture entering the ETS.

Its position remains that He Waka Eke Noa is clear that the ETS has not worked to reduce emissions and will not work for agriculture.

The question that remains is whether this new Bill and proposed solutions will take some pressure off farmers and give them certainty. 

One could say it may help, but there are still lots of other issues to be resolved on the environmental front, notably water and farmers’ about land use change.

Much is said about helping farmers deal with climate change and the challenge will be how to get the message out to the wider farming sector.  A lot of this will likely fall on industry good organisations such as DairyNZ. 

At this stage it looks hopeful as most parties go forward with goodwill.

More like this

Carbon zero milk

Fonterra has joined forces with a supermarket chain to deliver what it claims is NZ’s first carbon zero milk.

Winners committed to environment

It's not the first time Fonterra’s John Wilson Memorial Trophy recipients, Nick and Nicky Dawson have been recognised for their sustainability efforts.

Sustainability stars pick up awards

Ten kiwi dairy farmers who have shown exceptional care for the environment have been recognised with a DairyNZ sustainability and stewardship award.

Featured

Water reforms come at a cost

The government’s new freshwater laws, signed off this week, have the potential to create significant unnecessary costs for ratepayers, farmers and entire communities, Federated Farmers says.

2020 harvest yields up

Final harvest data for wheat, barley and oats (milling/malting and feed) in 2020 show yields were up 17% overall across the six crops.

 

Difficult but the right call

DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle says the joint decision three years ago to eradicate Mycoplamsa bovis was a difficult call.

Milking cluster milks runner-up award

DeLaval has come away with the runner up prize in this year’s Fieldays Online innovation competition with a new milking cluster that eliminates the need for conventional liner changes.

Glow worms to cows

Thomas Lundman's work focus has gone from tracking tiny critters in pitch black caves to looking after considerably larger animals in paddocks near Whakatane.

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

A ticking timebomb?

There could be another dairy health scare brewing in China and this one starts in our backyard.

Please explain

Does anyone in the Government understand the essential role St John Ambulance has in our society?

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter