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Friday 20 May 2022

B+LNZ worries over methane emissions targets

30th March 2021 By Staff Reporter | | @foodtickernz

Beef + Lamb New Zealand is concerned at the proposed high levels of carbon offsetting and significant methane emissions reductions recommended by the Climate Change Commission in its draft advice to the Government.

In its submission to the CCC, B+LNZ said while it “broadly supports the thrust of the Climate Change Commission’s draft advice”, it disagreed with several recommendations.

The commission has recommended the Government implement measures that would lead to a 13.2% reduction of biogenic methane emissions below 2017 levels by 2030, something B+LNZ said it opposed.

Sam McIvor

“This represents a 32% increase in the level of ambition compared to the 2030 biogenic methane target contained in the Zero Carbon Act, which is to reduce methane emissions to 10% below 2017 levels by 2030,” B+LNZ chief executive Sam McIvor said.

“The commission has deemed that these reductions are achievable on the basis of further improvements in productivity, based on the gains the sector has achieved in the past. While it is true the sector has achieved a lot, there are limits to what the sector can continue to achieve.”

B+LNZ was also calling on the CCC to propose clear limits on the amount of offsetting New Zealand should rely on, and provide policy guidance to the Government that would deliver on these limits – such as changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme.

“Sheep and beef farmers are committed to playing their part in the actions needed to achieve New Zealand’s climate change objectives,” McIvor said.

“This is why B+LNZ’s goal is for the sheep and beef sector to work towards being carbon neutral by 2050.

“We are also fully committed to He Waka Eke Noa, the Primary Sector Climate Action Partnership, to implement a framework by 2025 to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and build the agriculture sector’s resilience to climate change,” he added.

McIvor said B+LNZ supported the CCC’s focus on the need for New Zealand to decarbonise its economy by making real reductions of gross carbon dioxide emissions.

“However, while the commission suggests New Zealand must reduce its reliance on forestry offsets, in particular from pinus radiata, the levels of budgeted removals are still very high and will lead to swathes of New Zealand sheep and beef farmland being converted to pine trees.

“This is not supported by New Zealanders, and it will have significant negative impacts for sheep and beef farming and for rural communities.”



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