National Backs our Farmers

Labour and the Greens today announced their plan to reduce farmers’ carbon emissions, which could see sheep and beef farming reduce by one fifth in just five years. That’s a massive impact on our rural towns and communities.
National backs our farmers. Rural communities are the backbone of our country and agriculture is our biggest export earner. We cannot let Labour and the Greens put that at risk.
New Zealand needs to cut its carbon emissions. National supports New Zealand’s emissions targets, including reaching carbon net zero by 2050. And that means reducing agriculture emissions over time. We backed the sector-led process as a way to introduce emission pricing for agriculture alongside other measures to reduce on-farm emissions and support the uptake of new technology.
Consensus with farmers is vital. But the Government today put that at risk with a different proposal which could gut our rural communities while seeing emissions increase overseas as food production and jobs move off-shore.
Kiwi farmers are among the most carbon efficient in the world so cutting back food production here just to see demand being met by less-efficient farmers overseas is simply counterproductive. Indeed, the Government’s own figures suggest their proposed scaling back of our sheep industry will actually lead to overall higher global emissions. National would ensure Kiwi farmers enjoy regulatory settings that make it easy to develop and adopt new technology to reduce emissions – not just send primary production, jobs and emissions offshore. 
National would also allow farmers to earn credit for all forms of on-farm carbon capture. It's just not right for Labour and the Greens to add extra costs to farmers without allowing on-farm planting and carbon capture to offset new emissions costs they may face.
The Government needs to get alongside rural communities and find an enduring solution that works for everyone – not dictate changes from Wellington. National trusts farmers to be the best environmental stewards of their own land.