Last week NZPPI presented our submission on the Climate Change Commissions advice on how NZ should meet its commitments to be carbon neutral by 2050.
The Commission has set out a comprehensive plan to transition energy use away from fossil fuels to clean sources, like electricity and hydrogen. Alongside this is an ambitious plan establish a large carbon sink of permanent native and exotic forests.
The highlights for the plant production industry are:
- The transition to electric vehicles starts from 2025.
- The area of land converted to horticulture quadruples from 2030.
- Phasing out coal and gas for greenhouse heating from 2035.
- Establishing 700,000ha of new permanent forests by 2040.
In our submission we highlighted the importance of our industry and recommended a planned progression with polices, incentives and support that will enable our industry to adapt and contribute to the initiatives that achieve the targets.
The potential impact on our industry is low compared to the adaptation that will be required in sectors like farming and manufacturing. On the upside is a focus on forests and horticulture, which presents a significant long-term opportunity.
The key themes of our submission are:
- Plant production plays an important role in providing a wide range of plants for food, amenity, ecology, forestry and as a carbon sink.
- Our industry must be supported to make the required changes and transitions. An adaptive approach that is flexible in terms of timing and the pace of change should be taken into account.
- To achieve the scale of plantings in the timeframes required, New Zealand will need to establish a stable, successful permanent forest industry that can attract the leadership, investment and skilled workforce to deliver the outcomes for carbon & biodiversity.
- The ability to rapidly scale and accelerate the production of plants is vital and will be achieved through the adoption of technology and innovation, supported through strategic investments.
- To protect business success through the transition, an investment policy should be in place to enable businesses to adopt practices and technology that are uneconomic, or technically difficult to adopt.
Climate change is a complex area that affects industries differently across the whole economy. Like others we will need to adapt to new business risks and ways of working. On the upside there are opportunities on offer for plant sectors.
We will continue to work with the government and primary industry groups on the impacts of climate change risk and policy changes on our industry. Over the coming weeks we will provide updates and analysis of policies and their impacts.