Tuesday, 16 April 2019 09:02

Farmers warned of climate change risk

Written by  Peter Burke
Damien O’Connor. Damien O’Connor.

Ag Minister Damien O’Connor has warned farmers that if they don’t take account of climate change in their production systems they could be jeopardising access to major markets.

He says customers worldwide expect producers to look at the implications of climate change. If they fail in this NZ could face more trade barriers in negotiations with the EU and UK especially.

“They are expecting us to be part of the climate change movement,” he told the Agricultural Climate Change conference in Palmerston North last week. 

Farmers may not always get an extra dollar for doing this but must make some changes to be allowed to keep operating. However some of the changes may see farmers get paid more for the value they offer.

O’Connor concedes that some farmers find dealing with greenhouse gas issues scary, as do many people.

“Farmers are dealing day to day with climatic issues and uncertain pricing; so to add another layer of complexity with climate change obligations is a big concern. But we have to address that, giving farmers clear honest signals and then offering them pathways to try to address these things.” 

O’Connor says farmers have been receiving confusing signals, but there are many young farmers out there, and older ones, who get it.

“They just want to know what they have to do to meet the obligations and they must get the clarity they seek via guidelines and advice.” 

It’s important to ensure that if farmers make change they will be heading in the right direction, O’Connor says. 

“We can’t expect them to keep chopping and changing on the basis of different science or different levels of knowledge.”

It’s important to make the Emissions Trading Scheme work for farmers, he says.

“It may not be simple but it has to be workable and pragmatic with better outcomes.”

 

More like this

All sizzle

OPINION: Remember when Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, about a year ago, launched his new baby the Primary Sector Council (PSC) to a whole lot of fanfare and cost to the taxpayer?

Budget funding unveiled

Agricultural Minister Damien O’Connor claims at least 2000 farmers will be helped with on-the-ground support to lift their environmental sustainability as part of Budget 2019 funding.

Real money in budget for farmers

Real money and real commitment in the government’s Budget will help farmers make necessary changes to their farming systems, says the Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor.

 
 

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Death by trees

OPINION: Your canine crusader finds it ironic that the pompously self-proclaimed ‘champion’ of the provinces and ‘first citizen’ of regional…

All sizzle

OPINION: Remember when Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, about a year ago, launched his new baby the Primary Sector Council (PSC)…

» Connect with Rural News