June 15, 2017
Fonterra part of 18-month partnership to tackle carbon emissions on farms
New Zealand's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Climate Change Issues Paula Bennett has announced the "Dairy Action for Climate Change" plan at the opening of the Mystery Creek Fieldays in Hamilton, Radio New Zealand reported.
The initiative is a 18-month partnership between DairyNZ and Fonterra, and is supported by the country's Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry for Primary Industries.
New Zealand's agriculture sector needs modern, science-based farming, hence the need for a three pronged approach, Tim Mackle, DairyNZ's chief executive, said.
"Firstly, we'll set up some pilot farms across the country and we're working with Fonterra on that to understand what is possible at the moment. (The) second part is really around education, we're going to do a roadshow across the country to build a better understanding of what's coming and what they can do now," Mackle explained.
"Thirdly, we're going to mobilise dairy environment leaders out there to help farmers answer questions with government and with industry."
According to Mackle, dairy farmers are significantly concerned about improving the environment and are cooperating with scientists. In addition, he pointed out that they are "already lowering emissions".
"The plan lays down the foundation for dairy's sustained, strategic approach to a lower carbon future," Mackle said. "We're taking the first steps in understanding what dairy can do in conjunction with the wider agricultural sector, plus industry and urban communities to help meet New Zealand's Paris Agreement emissions reduction target."
The new plan will be integrated with the work of the Biological Emissions Reference Group which involves both the industry and the government.
Paula Bennett also said the government would not bring agriculture into the Emissions Trading Scheme until there was an economically viable way of reducing emissions on farms.
- Radio New Zealand