“ACT is joining the primary sector in calling on the Government to embrace the science and give farmers a fair deal when setting methane targets,” says ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson Mark Cameron.

“Primary sector organisations have this week written to the Government asking for a split-gas approach to be taken when reporting all emissions and delivering emissions budgets.

“With the way emissions are currently being measured, agriculture is being blamed for a far bigger share of New Zealand’s warming than it is actually responsible for. Current estimates hugely over-estimate the impact of methane and will lead to unnecessary and crippling costs on farmers that are completely unfair. 

“ACT has always said the focus should be on working with the primary sector on more accurate measurement and management frameworks for methane emissions and ensuring there are no barriers to the uptake of new emissions reduction technologies.

“This means taking into account that short-lived gases like methane and long-lived gases like CO2 have different warming impacts, and actually measuring the sequestration that already occurs on farm.

“With $338 million allocated to researching agricultural emissions, there’s no excuse for the Government not to take a science-backed and fair approach, instead of trying to sting farmers for as much as possible as currently appears to be their objective.

“We’re an export nation who has been kept afloat by the primary sector and relies on it during turbulent economic times. It’s time for the Government to acknowledge the facts before it starts to tax.”