The future ain't pine - we say no to carbon farming
The further destruction of rural New Zealand by out-of-control carbon farming can be stopped immediately with the appropriate policy settings.
DemocracyNZ believes two policy changes are required to stop more stations being destroyed by carbon farming.
- Link the New Zealand carbon price to our top five trading partners.
- All land planted for carbon farming purposes from 01 December 2022 must be registered in the New Zealand carbon market.
Linking the carbon price to that of our trading partners would see the price crash back to below $20 per ton CO2. Kiwis are paying an exorbitantly high price for carbon credits, which is putting our businesses at a competitive disadvantage and can no longer be justified. New Zealand should align with other countries rather than virtue-signalling to them.
DemocracyNZ will ensure that land used for carbon farming from 01 December 2022 would be for the benefit of the New Zealand market. This ensures the carbon price is regulated appropriately - and does not continue to distort rural economics. Foreign companies will not be able to use our farmland to offset emissions produced in another country.
The carbon farming business model relies entirely on government policy settings, it is not part of the productive economy. The message DemocracyNZ is sending to potential buyers is that they must take policy risk into account before making a purchase. Carbon farming investors have - up until now, based decisions on the assumption that the carbon price will continue to increase indefinitely. Any significant change to carbon price settings could leave these carbon farming operations unviable. It is an extremely risky investment which has been allowed by successive governments to proliferate unchecked. That is set to change.
DemocracyNZ believes that good food-producing land must be protected. We say no to shut-the-gate pine tree farming taking over food-producing land. Instead, we say:
- Ban pine trees from carbon farming.
- Productive pine plantations can receive credits for carbon stored in wood products, if processed in New Zealand.
- Promote the use of native trees for carbon storage with changes to ETS settings.
Our agricultural sector’s production efficiency is already world-class, and it makes better sense to work with farmers to promote and build on those efficiency gains, not punish farmers for keeping our economy afloat.