10 Jun 2010

Not enough time for ETS consultation

10:49 pm on 10 June 2010

The agricultural sector says it has not been given enough time for consultation over draft regulations for agriculture in the Emissions Trading Scheme.

The sector, which accounts for half of New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions, enters the ETS with voluntary reporting from January next year. It will be fully included in 2015.

Submissions on Ministry of Agriculture (MAF) draft regulations for agriculture, including ways of calculating the sector's emissions, closed on Wednesday.

The Meat Industry Association says a month of consultation was not long enough. Chief executive Tim Ritchie says agriculture's part in the ETS is a big deal, and needs careful consideration.

The industry is concerned, he says, that the ETS will make it less competitive in its international markets.

The Egg Producers Federation and Poultry Association has asked the ministry for an extension on its submission on the draft regulations.

Federated Farmers still fighting

Meanwhile, Federated Farmers is not giving up its fight to have the scheme scrapped outright.

President Don Nicolson says New Zealand should put a hold on implementing the scheme until its trading partners and competitors decide to go ahead with their versions.

He says farmers cannot afford any extra compliance costs on their businesses.

Figures issued by MAF suggest the ETS will cost the average dairy farmer $3300 a year and sheep and beef farmers almost $1200 each.