[5 September/Farmers Weekly]

A new report from the Productivity Commission detailed a landscape full of challenges for the primary sector as New Zealand aimed to create a zero carbon economy. Agriculture was at the hard end of the policy shifts. It called for major land use change to increase forestry and horticulture. Reduced livestock numbers would be replaced with trees to boost new forestry area. The extra trees were in an effort to increase the emissions absorbed from 30 percent to 50 percent. Marginal sheep and beef country would be the main source of land for trees. Federated Farmers Climate Change Spokesperson, Andrew Hoggard, said the loss of the area would devastate rural communities. DairyNZ Economist, Matthew Newman, challenged the loss as they could shift to horticulture. The report argued that being a shorter lived gas, methane should not be required to be reduced to zero. Methane needed to be unbundled from other gases when dealing with its reduction.