Southlanders have raised concerns over the Government's proposal to price livestock emissions at farm level and fertiliser emissions at the processor level, from 2025.

An "Action on Agricultural Emissions" consultation was held in Invercargill on Thursday evening to encourage discussion over how best to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.

Held at the Ascot Park Hotel, members from the Ministry for the Environment (MFE) and Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) gave attendees the opportunity to voice their opinions on the proposal.

However, attendees remained sceptical of how practical the proposal would be.


Dairy industry climate change ambassador Dean Alexander said while there were little things the agriculture industry should be doing to reduce emissions, the necessary technology was not yet available.

"I haven't made any major transformations, but I've done lots of little things around the edges. But there's no way of measuring the success of these changes because of the lack of technology."

One attendee said he was resistant to the pricing of emissions due to the lack of research done.

"I want to know how much carbon is in the lambs and the ewes that I send to the works and until that's accounted for, we cannot be asked to pay a fine [for our emissions]."

Another attendee said he could not understand why the industry needed to reduce emissions if there was no evidence of how people would benefit.

"If we do everything that's being proposed [to be] enforced on us, what's going to happen to the climate when we do these things?"

MFE principal analyst Matthew Everett acknowledged the concept was complex but science had proved change needed to happen.

"What I presented to you today is where the world is at a global picture in terms of best scientific knowledge, its actually written in the Paris agreement, so it will continue to be made the best scientific knowledge."


"We've attempted to paint a picture about why the whole world is worried about it which is the basis for this proposal."

Everett said he "completely" understood the arguments behind the questions asked.

"[It is about] how can we do our best job to make sure that the activity that makes sense for a farm system, and is also good for the atmosphere in terms of reducing emissions, is rewarded?"

Attendees were encouraged to make submissions regarding the proposal online at, or in hard copy before August 13 at 5pm.