Aotearoa has committed to reaching net zero emissions of long-lived greenhouse gases by 2050, reducing biogenic methane emissions by 10% by 2030, and between 24-47% (compared with 2017) by 2050. The He Pou a Rangi (Climate Change Commission (CCC)) role is to provide independent advice on how to reach those targets.
He Pou a Rangi recently released ‘Ināia tonu nei: A low emissions future for Aotearoa’. The government will use this as a basis to set national emissions budgets and finalise the emissions reduction plan for the first emission budget (2022-2025). The budget and emission strategy decisions are due by 31st December 2021.
Emissions budgets cover the periods from 2022-2025, 2026-2030 and 2031-2035. He Pou a Rangi has provided a ‘demonstration pathway’ that shows that the emission budgets are achievable, along with two alternatives. The pathways are not prescriptive.
|BASE LINE||EMISSION BUDGETS|
|Total Net Emissions (annual average) Mt CO2e/yr||78||72.4||62.4||50.6|
|Biogenic methane Mt CH4/yr||1.35||1.26||1.20||1.14|
Demonstration pathway for the agriculture sector
In 2019 agriculture made up 18.5% of the long-lived greenhouse gas emissions in Aotearoa and 90.9% of biogenic methane emissions. The demonstration pathway for agriculture emission reduction measures is outlined below.
2022-2025 Emission budget (11% reduction by 2030)
- Adopt low emission practices on farm e.g.
- Improve animal performance, decrease livestock numbers and feed
- Reduce replacement animals
- Move to lower input system, reduce fertiliser and feed inputs
2026-2030 Emission budget
- Adopt low emission breeding for sheep.
2031-2035 Emission budget
- Encourage new biogenic methane technologies when available e.g. vaccines, inhibitors, novel feeds, breeding and biogenic methane capture. Low emission breeding for cows.
Other implications for food processing companies
Transport and Freight
- Decarbonise heavy transport and freight through the development of a national low emissions freight strategy, including more rail and sea freight and production of low emission fuels (biofuels, electricity, green hydrogen). Strategy to be developed in partnership with iwi and freight stakeholders to support improved energy efficiency and freight optimisation.
- Develop a low carbon fuels market, including a low carbon fuel standard, support demonstration and pilot projects for low carbon heavy vehicles.
- Offer targeted support for uptake of low carbon heavy vehicles, such as exemption to road user charges.
- Undertake a study on the use of low carbon fuels for aviation and shipping.
- Increased cost for newly registered high fossil fuel vehicles, effective from 1st January 2022. The recommendations may cause the cost of petrol and diesel to increase by 30c/litre in 2035.
Natural (Fossil) Gas
- ‘Natural gas’ is now referred to as ‘fossil gas’ to provide clarity that it is fossil fuel based.
- There will be a transition away from the use of fossil gas. The demonstration pathway is for no new fossil gas heating systems to be installed in buildings from 2025, existing fossil gas to be phased out of use in buildings, and for industrial process heat, from 2031. The suggestion is that fossil gas technology is replaced with low emission alternatives (e.g. biomass or electricity) at the end of their life.
Take Home Message
By December 2021, the New Zealand Government will set the national emissions budget and finalise the country’s first emissions reduction plan detailing the policies to be used to achieve emission reductions.
He Pou a Rangi agriculture recommendations are largely around adoptions of low emission on farm practices and the use of new low emission technology as it becomes available. Other potential impacts on food processing businesses are the uptake in electric vehicles, increases in the price of newly registered fossil fuel vehicles, increases in petrol/diesel costs and the phasing out of fossil gas use in buildings and for industrial heat.