Information Sheet 50: Offsetting GHG emissions on farms

Opportunities for farms to offset biological emissions under the NZ ETS through bioenergy

Farm animals produce methane which is a greenhouse gas and a potential liability under the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS). However farms can also be a significant contributor to the reduction of greenhouse gases which can be an offset to biological emissions produced on the farm.  As we transition into a post-petroleum era the farmers of our land are in a position to:

  • grow plants which act as a carbon sink but also will be the future feedstocks for the bio-based chemicals and materials that will replace current petroleum based products. The biomass can be a significant source of revenue thus improving farm business resilience;
  • adopt circular economy practices to their farming operations by using organic crop residues and wastes to produce energy and reduce farm operating costs; and
  • embracing greenhouse gas emission reduction opportunities which can improve business resilience and achieve net zero carbon.

These opportunities assume that farm net emissions are going to underpin the way in which the NZ ETS will be applied to farming.

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