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National attempts to woo primary industry 

In brief
  • National has released its new plan to reduce agricultural emissions, which includes delaying the start date for farmers to pay an emissions tax. 
  • The proposals get kudos from the agriculture industry with Federated Farmers giving it five stars. 
  • Biotech is also showing support for National’s plan to lift decades old restrictions on genetic research. 
  • Labour and Green view it as a delay tactic.

A new plan to reduce emissions

The National Party revealed its plan to reduce agricultural emissions. The broad plan aims to help farmers adopt new technologies to meet climate targets and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. They intend to keep agriculture off the Emissions Trading Scheme and instead establish an independent board to oversee a pricing system for farm emissions by 2030. 

Unlike other sectors, agriculture has not been directly taxed for its emissions. 

This comes on the heels of National backing away from He Waka Eke Noa, the industry group tasked with developing an emissions scheme for the farming sector. 

Supporters and detractors

The National Party’s plan has received  kudos from farmers. Federated Farmers gives National’s plan “five stars”. Beef + Lamb New Zealand consider the policy sensible and pragmatic. 

They believe it addresses farmers’ concerns and support the use of new technologies, such as methane inhibitors, vaccines, and gene-editing, to reduce emissions.

Labour and the Green Party view National’s policy as a delay tactic and emphasise the need for businesses, including farmers, to pay for their emissions. 

National attempts to woo primary industry  - Centrist
Look at all those emissions!

FF release their policy platform

Federated Farmers, last week released its policy platform for the upcoming 2023 election outlining a rural roadmap with 12 key policy changes.

Policy priorities include better utilisation of technologies and water storage development. Also, reviewing methane targets, forestry rules and net-zero targets. 

The organisation is critical of the regulatory red tape farmers have faced in recent years, which they say has impacted their well-being and created needless costs. 

Rewriting the code

National’s plan includes removing decades-old restrictions on genetic technology to further aid in reducing methane emissions and allow for research beyond the laboratory.

Biotech and agritech firms are pleased with National’s proposed reconsideration of restrictions. They say biotech research can bring value and innovation to agriculture, forestry, health, etc. This includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, developing sustainable agricultural practices, and creating life-saving medicines. 

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