The Likely Regional Impacts of an Agricultural Emissions Policy in New Zealand: Preliminary Analysis

Hendy and Kerr find that an emissions charge on agricultural methane and nitrous oxide of $25 per tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent would be likely to reduce New Zealand"s net land-use related emissions for commitment period one in the order of 3%, with full accounting. The costs per farmer and as a percentage of profit would be very high.

This paper considers the regional impacts of such a policy in New Zealand by allocating the emission charge across space according to the location of animals. We then combine our emissions charge information with data on the socio-economic characteristics of the affected areas. Obviously rural areas are heavily affected. In many respects, for example median income, ethnic mix, and percentage of working people with a university degree, the rural areas most affected have very similar socio-economic characteristics to other parts of rural New Zealand. Only in two ways do they appear to differ. Our findings indicate that areas with high emission costs tend to have high employment rates, but that they also have a disproportionately high number of unqualified people.