Federated Farmers: We have not agreed to any Emissions Trading Scheme

Federated Farmers says while it has agreed to work with the government to further reduce emissions, it has not signed up to any Emissions Trading Scheme.

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Terry Copeland says his organisation has agreed only to work with the Government on reducing emissions. Source: Breakfast

The Government has put out a proposal to reduce agricultural greenhouse gases which would include farmers paying for five per cent of their total emissions costs by 2025.

National Party leader Simon Bridges this morning labelled the proposed idea as nothing more than a "cheeky tax grab" by the Government.

After the proposal was released, Climate Change Minister said a "historic consensus with farming leaders" had been reached "to implement farm-level pricing of climate change emissions from the agriculture sector by 2025".

Speaking this morning to TVNZ 1's Breakfast programme, Federated Farmers CEO Terry Copeland clarified that while his organisation has agreed to work with the Government to reduce climate change, it has not joined any ETS.

He said most farmers are already onboard with reducing their emissions, and that New Zealand has gone from "good to great" in that regard.

Many farmers' only option to reduce their carbon footprint was to simply wait for technology to catch up, or to reduce the number of livestock they have, which doesn't make sense economically.

Other sectors had the benefit of access to new, green technology - like electric cars, he said - but added that "we don't have electric sheep".

"We're waiting for science and technology to come up with options - there's potential research into inhibitors - grasses that produce less climate change gas."

Mr Copeland said farmers "are certainly not climate change deniers" and that he acknowledged farmers will need to make changes.

Watch the full interview in the video above.