28 Oct 2010

ETS provides marketing opportunities, farmers told

10:12 am on 28 October 2010

Farming representatives have been told that the much-debated Emissions Trading Scheme may help New Zealand keep access to some of its export markets.

Federated Farmers has called for the scheme in its current form to be shelved until other countries' intentions for reducing green house gases become clearer.

It's concerned about the costs to agriculture, which will increase when the sector has to join the scheme in 2015.

However, Foreign Affairs and Trade secterary John Allen, who spoke to the Federation's Meat and Fibre Council, suggested farmers should look at the ETS from a marketing perspective, as well, and think about the opportunity it presents to take high value positions in wealthy markets in Europe and the UK.

Agriculture Ministrer David Carter raised the potential market access benefits of the ETS, especially for the European Union markets, when he responded to questions from the Meat and Fibre representatives.

But Mr Carter pointed out the Government will be reviewing the ETS legisation twice before the 2015 deadline for agriculture joining the scheme. He says that won't happen if it puts New Zealand at a disadvantage to its trading competitors.

Farmers though, remain sceptical, and Mr Carter was asked whether research figures showing a 22% reduction in sheep farming emissions since 1990 would be taken into account.