4 Jul 2012

Dairy sector backs Govt on ETS

7:44 am on 4 July 2012

Dairy industry leaders are supporting the Government's decision to hold off on bringing agriculture into the emissions trading scheme.

Government ministers have confirmed they are deferring including making farmers accountable for agricultural emissions in the ETS until at least 2015.

Critics say not making farmers pay for livestock emissions is unfair because it passes the cost of pollution on to taxpayers.

But industry body DairyNZ says agricultural emissions should not be included in the ETS until farmers have practical and economically-viable technologies to reduce them.

Currently that's limited to nitrification inhibitors that can be applied to pasture and they've had mixed results, depending on variations in climate and soil type.

DairyNZ says it's spending nearly $1 million year supporting research to reduce methane and other agricultural emissions through the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium.

It's investing a similar amount in a seven-year project evaluating dairy cows to see how efficiently they can convert feed into milk while reducing emissions.