[5 October/ Farmers Weekly]

The Waikato Regional Council has told the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into the opportunities and challenges for New Zealand transitioning to a lower net emissions economy, that farmers should be paid subsidies to ease them into the Emissions Trade Scheme. The inquiry aimed to assess future moves and consequences for NZ in trying to meet its Paris Accord obligations by 2030. The council supported investigating tax cuts or credits on farm incomes to neutralise the overall effect on farm incomes, as well as a transition period for the change to occur. Various experts such as Victoria University Climate Change Expert Dr Adrian Macey and Ecologist and farm systems consultant Dr Alison Dewes disagreed, believing the subsidies or incentives were unnecessary as transition measures could take other forms such as phase-in periods, and studies show it is possible to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 10-15 percent with no impact on farmer profit.