New Zealand has set a target under the Paris Agreement to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, and to adopt increasingly more ambitious targets in the future.

The Government has asked us to deliver evidence and analysis to a proposed Climate Change Commission. Regarding agriculture, the Commission will be expected to make recommendations on:

How surrender obligations could best be arranged if agricultural methane and nitrous oxide emissions enter into the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme.

In addition to the above, our Terms of Reference ask us to consider a wide range of other issues with regard to agriculture.

This includes: the impact of maintaining current policy settings on agriculture and other sectors, the principle of internalising costs arising from international commitments to the sectors that create those costs, rewarding land-owners/farmers who take positive steps to reduce emissions, other alternative and complementary reduction measures, and the recycling of funds that may be generated from including agriculture in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme.

Given this broad remit, we have clarified the deliverables in our Terms of Reference with the Minister for Climate Change, Hon James Shaw.

We’ve considered what changes New Zealand needs to focus on to meet its future targets under the Paris Agreement. Specifically:

  • We will deliver evidence and analysis on ways of delivering efficient emission reductions in the agriculture sector that are consistent with the Government’s objective for a ‘just transition’.
  • We will consider the full suite of options that could deliver those reductions. The New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme will be a key, but not the sole, focus of our work.

You can find out more information on carbon emissions and agriculture in Our News: Key Resources.

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