Silver Fern Farms welcomes Emissions Reduction Plan discussion; asks for bipartisan climate policy

by | May 17, 2022 | News

Silver Fern Farms, New Zealand’s largest red meat company, welcomes the release of the discussion document on the shape of the Emissions Reduction Plan and looks forward to working with officials and Ministers to ensure the final plan supports the ambition and priorities of our farmers, customers and communities.

“At Silver Fern Farms, we see the transition to a low carbon economy as an important opportunity to create new forms of value for New Zealand and position our farmers as climate innovators,” says Simon Limmer, Chief Executive of Silver Fern Farms.
Greater detail is needed on many of the agriculture proposals, but the company was reassured to see an emerging focus on nature-based solutions and encouraged further investment into how nature-positive farming techniques can be supported and rapidly scaled.

Unfortunately, the discussion document failed to provide a signal on how the Government will scale-up its investment into methane reduction and help best prepare the sector for emissions pricing post-2025.

“The lack of detail and apparent ambition to bolster investment in methane reduction is a lost opportunity. It is our most difficult emissions challenge and requires an immediate and game-changing investment into R&D and technology.

“Making these investments now will enable a scaled-up industry Government partnership to best position New Zealand to not only hit our 2030 targets, but to create a world-leading future farming system, underpinned by nature-positive pastoral agriculture,” says Limmer.

Silver Fern Farms also supports the indication of Government action to curb rapid conversion of sheep and beef land to fast-growing forestry but stresses this work must be fast-tracked given the rapidly increasing price of carbon.

Limmer says: “Changing land-use driven by the price of carbon hits us, and our rural communities, hard. We don’t want sheep and beef farms, which have been a key part of the economic and community fabric of modern New Zealand, to disappear due to an unintended consequence of the Emissions Trading Scheme. Fast-growing exotic forestry is not the answer to New Zealand’s climate obligations. We would encourage the Minister and his colleagues to begin a process to ensure cross-party agreement on the Emissions Budgets, the final Emissions Reduction Plan and He Waka Eke Noa outcomes.

“It’s a big ask, but bipartisan climate policy will give all sectors of the economy the certainty to make the upfront investments needed to accelerate emissions reductions to 2030, and support a just transition more broadly,”

Silver Fern Farms encourages those leading the consultations to engage widely face-to-face with rural New Zealand (as COVID allows), particularly farmers and landowners.

Source: Silver Fern Farms

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