Carbon Sequestration and Emissions Trading Scheme:

Carbon Sequestration and Emissions Trading Scheme:

1st December 2022
The deceitful lying pack of bastards (our government) has backed down and agreed to work with the primary sector on developing a sequestration strategy for the emissions trading scheme.
The announcement was made on the first day of Fieldays 2022, the largest agricultural event in the southern hemisphere, which brings together upwards of 130,000 people from the sector over four days.
“We want a plan for reducing agricultural emissions we can all agree on. We’ve heard sequestration is a top priority for farmers and critical to making He Waka Eke Noa work,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.
Back in April of this year I put up one of many articles regards carbon sequestration from pastoral farming which was at that time being ignored.
“The carbon sequestration from pastoral farming is currently ignored and surely this must mean that the basis for analysis of the GHG emissions from farming is based on flawed science and therefore gives an incorrect measure of the actual emissions from farming.
This then means that farming is unfairly penalised under the ETS proposals from the omission of farming’s carbon sequestration ability, particularly given that the predictions are that we will see significant increase in global warming in the near future and the effects (from drought and wildfires) that this may have in relation to forestry.
We lose many hectares of farmland each year, much of which becomes greenhouse-gas-emitting housing developments, shopping centres, roads and parking lots. But the remaining millions of hectares of farmlands nationwide represent significant additional carbon storage with at least 33% the farming emissions being offset (which is currently ignored even though MfE has recognised this offsetting in their current report).
A recent report prepared by Auckland University of Technology, estimated woody vegetation on sheep and beef farms may be offsetting 63 to 118 per cent of the gross agricultural emissions from this sector (Case and Ryan, 2020).
In contrast, the findings of the recent report prepared by the Ministry for the Environment indicated net carbon dioxide removals are 63 per cent lower than the midpoint estimate of the Auckland University of Technology report by Case and Ryan (2020), equivalent to 33 per cent of the on-farm agricultural emissions.
This MfE report claims to provide a robust and up-to-date estimate of net carbon dioxide removals occurring on sheep and beef farmland.
Whilst both of these reports are related to sheep and beef farmland only, neither of them takes into account the carbon sequestration from grass pasture. Across the whole of the agricultural sector including all types of pastoral farming there is no account taken of the ability for grass pasture to sequester carbon.”
Taking into account also that the UNFCCC has just recently admitted that their figures around climate change were hugely inflated over reality and that they needed to be reduced by approximately 60%, it makes my article look like a pretty good summary of the incompetence of this present government.
Up until this announcement the government has flatly refused to allow any consideration of sequestration unless the vegetation being used to calculate it fell within the criteria set by the government, even though the vegetation was actually still sequestering carbon emissions whether it fit the criteria or not.
What a difference it makes when the world looks at you through glasses that now have had the rose tint wiped off them and your polling numbers have fallen down the outhouse.
Suddenly they have to try to make it better, because what they are pushing through the house under urgency at the present time (Three/Five Waters) is no more than a death knell for their government.
So they must have decided to try to get the agricultural sector back on board at the Fieldays.
They have gone along to the first day of the Fieldays 2022 and tried to do a u turn and look as if they are truly trying to make it work for the agricultural sector.
Rebecca Howard from the BusinessDesk reported on Wednesday 30th November that the government has backed down and agreed to work with the primary sector on developing a sequestration strategy for the emissions trading scheme. Part of that article is copied below:
“Scientifically robust
Ardern, agriculture minister Damien O’Connor and climate change minister James Shaw confirmed the government will bring all scientifically robust forms of sequestration into the ETS, starting from 2025.
This will be done at full value, rather than at a discount, so farmers can realise the true potential of the vegetation on their farms.
In October, the government opened consultation on a farm-level, split-gas levy to price agricultural greenhouse gas emissions that will see farmers pay for their emissions by 2025.
That consultation took into account many of the recommendations from the He Waka Eke Noa primary sector climate-action partnership but didn’t meet its expectations regarding sequestration.
Among other things, the government had reduced the categories of sequestration that were recognised and proposed changes to the process for getting them recognised.
According to the partnership, and many members of the sector, the government’s approach would have had significant negative implications, in particular for sheep, beef and deer farmers.
Core component
Today, the government recognition of on-farm sequestration will be a core component of its work to reduce NZ’s agricultural climate emissions, said Shaw, Ardern and O’Connor.
“The government has already committed to sequestration being recognised and compensated for from 2025. The He Waka Eke Noa partnership, the Climate Change Commission, and the government all agree that it needs to be done in a way that is fair, cost-effective and scientifically robust,” Ardern said.
More work to do
O’Connor said the industry has asked for a plan that covers all forms of scientifically robust sequestration possible on-farm “and we support that”.
“There is more work to do, much of it technical, but today we affirm that this will be undertaken in close partnership with the sector,” he said.
Among other things, the sector partnership recommended that the ETS be improved and updated to allow more vegetation categories to be included and that vegetation types eligible under He Waka Eke Noa could be transitioned into the NZ ETS as it is expanded and improved.
“This builds on the government’s commitment to establish native forests at scale to develop long-term carbon sinks and improve biodiversity,” O’Connor said.
For his part, Shaw said the proposal represents a significant shift in the way the ETS works.
“It means farmers will get full recognition for scientifically proven sequestration on their farms,” he said.”
Isn’t it amazing how a string of bad poll results can improve the government’s hearing abilities!
It is only six months since I wrote about sequestration (and that was far from the first discussion about it) and suddenly we have the Prime Minister stating that they have heard about the agricultural sector’s issues with carbon sequestration as part of the ETS criteria for farming.
It is about time this government got around to acknowledging that they are elected to work on behalf of the whole electorate based on their election manifesto, and not to push their own socialist ideology and agenda.
Even using the MfE’s report into offsetting of emissions which stated that sheep and beef farming was offsetting at least 33% of their GHG emissions, farming is already meeting the criteria for reductions but this is not being acknowledged due to the way the criteria is set out. The vegetation may be actually sequestering the carbon emissions but the government system will not take this into account because the vegetation doesn’t fit into the criteria.
But Lo and Behold a couple of bad poll results and suddenly Ardern, agriculture minister Damien O’Connor and climate change minister James Shaw confirm the government will bring all scientifically robust forms of sequestration into the ETS, starting from 2025.
Too little; too late. With the UN announcement on reduction of targets we need to go back to the start and rework all of the models using accurate figures that won’t destroy our national economy and our agricultural sector.