"Genuine solutions" are needed to reduce emissions, says DairyNZ.

Recommendations in a report from the Productivity Commission on emissions would have a significant impact on the New Zealand agricultural sector, chief executive Dr Tim Mackle told The Country Early Edition's Rowena Duncum.

The commission's report, released on Tuesday, said there are three shifts that must occur for New Zealand to achieve its low-emissions goals:

1. A move from burning fossil fuels to using low-emission energy sources such as electricity.


2. Undertaking substantial levels of afforestation to offset New Zealand's remaining emissions, (mostly on land currently used for sheep and beef farming).

3. Changes to the structure and methods of agricultural production, which will include diversification of land use towards horticulture and cropping, and greater adoption of low-emissions practices on farms.

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The report also calls for agriculture to face a price in the Emissions Trading Scheme, for an expansion of horticulture and a reduction in dairy farming, and for significantly more government resources to be invested into low-emissions innovation and technology.

Mackle said the emissions prices suggested by the commission would see a significant impact on the New Zealand agricultural sector, especially without a technological solution to reduce methane emissions.

"What that underscores is the absolute critical importance of us going very, very hard on research and carrying on with the efforts we've got now ... to get genuine solutions to reduce ... our methane, but also nitrous oxide outputs."

Find out more about the emissions report at DairyNZ's website here.