Government partners with industry to reduce agricultural emissions

  • Hon Damien O'Connor

New Zealand’s effort to reduce agricultural emissions has taken a step forward with the signing of a memorandum of understanding by Government with agribusiness leaders, in a joint venture as part of the new Centre for Climate Action on Agricultural Emissions, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced.

The Ministry for Primary Industries signed the agreement alongside representatives from ANZCO Foods, Fonterra, Ngāi Tahu Holdings, Ravensdown, Silver Fern Farms and Synlait.

“We are committed to reducing agricultural emissions and for this we need to get new tools and technology into the hands of farmers as soon as possible. This joint venture will be a combined effort by government and industry to achieve this,” Damien O’Connor said.

“It will be a long-term partnership with industry funding being matched by the Government.

“Initial indicative commitments would see around $172 million invested over the next four years by industry and government to develop and commercialise practical tools and technologies for farmers.

“That includes $7.75 million by industry this financial year alone.

“This represents a new and exciting way of working. By working together, we can help farmers shift the dial sooner.

“New Zealand can be, and should be, a leader in developing innovative new tools and technologies to reduce emissions on-farm, and be the one other countries can look to,” Damien O’Connor said.

The joint venture is a key component of the Centre for Climate Action on Agricultural Emissions.

The Centre was announced as part of the $338.7 million in funding allocated over the next four years to strengthen the role of research and development for new tools and technologies to reduce on-farm emissions which was announced in Budget 2022. This includes the Government’s funding component of the joint venture.

The agriculture sector contributes 50 per cent of Aotearoa New Zealand’s gross greenhouse gas emissions, and around 91 per cent of our biogenic methane emissions.

The Government has committed to a net-zero target for 2050 and reducing biogenic methane emissions by 10 per cent by 2030, relative to 2017 levels, and 24 to 47 per cent lower by 2050.

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