A correspondent has written to me about New Zealand’s announcement that farmers are being brought into our (restored) emissions trading scheme, and querying why that is. Their understanding is that the Paris Accord to reduce CO2 emissions does not expect that agricultural emissions would be taken into account.
My reading is that the Paris Accord stipulates how each country should tackle CO2 emissions, although I can’t claim to be an expert in this. I notice, however, that the UN’s measurement of emissions does include land use change.
Apparently New Zealand is one of the world’s highest greenhouse gas emitters on a per capita basis; our net emissions have risen 21 per cent since 2008; and agriculture contributes 48 per cent of those.
The Labour Party made election campaign promises in 2017 to both restore the emissions trading scheme and bring agriculture into it.
The recent announcement about how the Government plans to follow through on that promise follows the advice of the Climate Commission. It will only kick in if farmers haven’t managed to reduce their own emissions, farm by farm, when progress is reviewed in 2022. Payments won’t even start until 2025 and will be discounted by 95 per cent.
Greenpeace has said we haven’t gone far enough. Federated Farmers has said the policy goes too far. So the Government may have got it about right.
This is a fascinating example of policy development that spans big, little and operational ‘P’ policy. The first session of my Public Policy 101 training course gives a whirlwind tour of the different types of policy, what they involve and what skills you will need. The PowerPoint presentation for that first session is available to my ‘patrons’ now at my Patreon Public Policy101 Training Materials page. Next week, I will follow up with detailed notes that support the 'whirlwind' presentation with lots of real life examples.