Agriculture and forestry

Read questions and answers about our draft advice for agriculture and forestry

Agriculture and forestry: what are our key recommendations?

Agriculture has a large role to play in reducing emissions and farming needs to become even more efficient. There have been improvements in the last few decades, but more can happen.

Aotearoa has been an agricultural world leader over recent decades. We must adapt and improve our use of our land to keep this status. This means developing, adopting and using practices and technologies that lower emissions and address climate change.

Forests have a role to play, but we can’t plant our way out of climate change.

Our key recommendations are:

  • The Government needs a cohesive strategy that includes water, biodiversity and climate. There are multiple benefits to taking a holistic view of how we use and protect our land.
  • There are changes farmers can make now to reduce emissions on their farms while maintaining, or even improving, productivity. This includes reducing animal numbers and better animal, pasture and feed management. Policy support is needed to make this happen.
  • Our advice advocates for a long-term plan for targeted research and development of new technologies to reduce emissions from agriculture.
  • Pine trees will still play an important role in getting to 2050 and could support a future bioeconomy, as bioenergy to replace fossil fuels and as timber for building.
  • Existing forests, small blocks of trees, soils and wetlands can all store more carbon. Work is needed to better understand this potential and how to include this in accounting systems.
  • Native forests can create a long-term carbon sink while providing a range of other benefits, like improving biodiversity and erosion control. Incentives are needed to get more native trees planted.

Read more in our draft advice report.