Federated farmers’ president Bruce Wills explains why including agricultural emissions in an ETS isn’t good policy:
In every other country, putting farm biological emissions in an ETS type-framework is as alien as Richie McCaw donning the green and gold and singing Advance Australia Fair.
Take this golden Daily Mail headline in Britain from last year: “Buy New Zealand lamb to save the planet.” Then in May came the UK’s Observer with: “Why worrying about food miles is missing the point.” . . .
We would argue that inclusion penalises us for being good farmers that will only leak carbon to less efficient countries. Where’s the global good in that?
As Jay Rayner put it to his British readers when comparing apples with, well, apples: “The researchers found that the actual weight of nitrogen fertiliser used was roughly similar in both countries (80kg per hectare in NZ to 78kg in the UK).
“However, in New Zealand they were getting a yield of 50 tonnes per hectare, as against 14 tonnes in Britain. Where lamb was concerned yield was higher in the UK than New Zealand, but so was nitrogen fertiliser use by a factor of more than 13.
“New Zealand simply has a better landscape and climate for rearing lamb and apples.”
This doesn’t fit with the radical red anti-trade agenda which would take us back centuries to when almost all food was grown locally.
Letting New Zealand farmers do what we do best and shipping the produce half way round the world is being better for the environment than buying local in Britain.
A tax which would reduce production here and increase where they can’t farm as efficiently as we can, as including agricultural emissions in an ETS would, is red policy not green.