Agricultural Progress Assessment

How ready are farmers for farm-level emissions pricing?

By the end of 2022, the Government will need to make a decision on how emissions from agriculture should be priced.

Alongside our Advice on Agricultural Assistance, we are preparing advice on farmers’ readiness for farm-level emissions pricing. This advice is due to the Minister of Climate Change by 30 June 2022. It includes an assessment of the progress that has been made through the He Waka Eke Noa partnership to prepare farmers and the sector for a farm-level pricing system, and if needed we will advise where more work needs to be done. 

How we’re developing our advice 

Our assessment will look at the agriculture sector’s progress towards measuring and reporting agricultural emissions at the farm-level, and making sure farms have effective plans in place to manage emissions. We will consider what support farmers might need for agricultural emissions pricing, and any barriers that could prevent farmers and the sector from participating in a farm-level pricing scheme.  

Our advice will draw on the best available evidence. There are some specific aspects we need to take into account when forming our advice, including current and upcoming requirements on farmers, existing and future technology, social circumstances, how impacts are distributed, and the Crown-Māori relationship.  

Engagement will play an important role as we develop our advice. We are talking to people who hold the knowledge and information we need to ensure our advice is robust. At the same time, this is complex mahi and many groups are being asked to consult or engage on over-lapping and similar pieces of work. We are working to coordinate and streamline engagement where possible. 

Why this advice is important 

Our assessment will help the Government understand how ready farmers are for an emissions pricing system that is practical, effective and equitable. The Government’s decisions in December 2022 should provide clarity on what emissions pricing farmers will face.  

For a farm-level pricing scheme to be effective, it must drive emissions reductions while being practical to participate in. An equitable scheme is one that is workable for a range of farm types – including for iwi/Māori collectively owned land – and that manages social, cultural, and environmental impacts.   

We know that farmers need a clear and consistent way forward, and more certainty on what the future will look like for the sector. Many farmers have already started moving to lower emissions practices on farm. It will be important for farmers to know their emissions profiles ahead of any farm-level pricing scheme – so they know where their emissions are coming from, and what actions they can take to reduce them.