After a series of complaints and concerns raised by farm groups, the New Zealand government said on Wednesday that it was making changes to its proposed plans to price agricultural long-lived gases and biogenic methane that mainly comes from cow and sheep burps.
According to a statement released by the government, part of the changes made to the original proposal includes allowing farmers to use on-farm forestry to offset their carbon emissions and a commitment to keep emissions pricing as low as possible.
This is coming after the government had in October released a proposed agricultural emissions pricing plan, which when takes effect in 2025 will make New Zealand, a large agricultural exporter, the first country to have farmers pay for emissions from livestock. The initial plan was met widespread criticism by farm groups.
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“The most important thing is getting an emission reduction system set up that lasts,” said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a statement after the changes were announced.
“We are working hard alongside the agriculture sector to strike the balance between building good levels of sector buy-in, while also ensuring the system is robust and meets our emissions reductions goals,” she added.
The latest changes have been met with warm receptions by people in the sector and a group representing farmer bodies and indigenous interests, He Waka Eke Noa, has said in a statement that the government’s emissions pricing system was moving in the right direction.
“It shows the Government is listening to sector and Maori views and is taking action to address concerns. This shows the value of working together,” said He Waka Eke Noa Independent Chair Sarah Paters.
Final decisions on agricultural emissions pricing will be made early next year with the aim of introducing legislation in parliament by the middle of the year.
Story was adapted from Reuters.