“ACT is backing Groundswell’s call for alternatives to forcing farmers into an emissions trading scheme”, says ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson Mark Cameron.
“Introducing a new tax on farmers while there are few options for reducing emissions will mean farmers have to cut herd sizes and will force emissions overseas.
“ACT doesn’t accept that farmers should be forced into an emissions trading scheme while there are no credible emissions measurement or reduction technologies available.
“The Government’s 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.
“Forcing farmers into an emissions trading scheme will push up the price of mince, milk and cheese at a time when inflation is going from a canter to a gallop but wages are rising more slowly.
“What’s even worse, it will increase global emissions. That’s because people won’t stop eating and the same food will be produced less efficiently offshore. New Zealand has the most efficient farming practices in the world. If we stop producing food here, it will go offshore where the practices aren’t as efficient.
“By taxing farmers without credible alternatives for reducing emissions, the Government will be forcing farmers to reduce herd sizes and productivity. Less efficient countries will fill the gap and global emissions will rise.
“ACT urges the Government to listen to Groundswell and consider the alternatives before introducing more damaging climate policies.”