The Government has committed $710 million over four years through the Climate Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to accelerate efforts to lower agricultural emissions, expand the contribution of forestry to reduce carbon, and produce alternative ‘green’ fuels.
“Our economic security depends on New Zealand’s food and fibre sector. It’s our biggest export earner but also our largest contributor to emissions, and if we don’t take action now we will be at risk as consumer preferences evolve,” Damien O’Connor said.
“The key to our continued success rests on our ability to produce world-leading food and fibre products that keep pace with consumer expectations and maintain our clean and green brand. This investment will not only sharpen our competitive edge in the future, it will also unlock opportunities for careers in agri-tech and generate export revenue through product development.
“We are allocating nearly $339 million to accelerate the development of high-impact technologies and practices to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, including the establishment of the new Centre for Climate Action on Agricultural Emissions.
“The Centre is about applied research that drives product development. The He Waka Eke Noa partnership has highlighted the demand from farmers and growers for products that will shift the dial on-farm so our sector can hit our emissions reductions targets. The sooner tools are ready for farmers the sooner we move on our goal of biogenic methane reduction of 10% by 2030 and 24% to 47% by 2050.
“It will partner with key businesses. Work is progressing with the private sector on how they can contribute their expertise and resources,” Damien O’Connor said.
Forestry Minister Stuart Nash said $73.5 million from Budget 2022 will go towards increasing woody biomass, which offers the best alternative to coal in our efforts to reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuels.
“We want to ensure we have home-grown clean energy solutions to replace the use of coal in industrial process heat. This will increase our energy security and means we are less reliant on coal.
“This new funding will increase New Zealand’s biomass supply by enabling planting of 10,000ha of forest.
“Forests can provide an abundant, natural resource to store carbon. Funding of $256.2 million will go towards maximising the contribution of forestry in boosting carbon sequestration to achieve New Zealand’s future carbon goals.
“New funding will scale up native seedling production to increase native forest planting and create long term carbon sinks. It will also fund targeted research and development, and stimulate private sector investment to help transform our forestry and wood processing into a high-value, high-wage sector,” Stuart Nash said.