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Coordination and Cooperation for Effective Climate Policy Design and Implementation

Image of treestumps after deforestationCoordination and Cooperation for Effective Climate Policy Design and Implementation was funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries in a three-year grant. It aimed to provide empirical evidence and a clear conceptual framework to encourage cooperation to enable the New Zealand Emissions Trading System (ETS) to be implemented effectively for agriculture. The research also looked into how to facilitate the coordination required for the rapid uptake of new adaptation and mitigation technology. The project ran from July 2009 to June 2012.

Project Summary

Coordination and Cooperation for Effective Climate Policy Design built on the existing programme ‘Integrated Economics of Climate Change’, which coordinated with the EcoClimate group and work with the government’s Agricultural Technical Advisory Group. As a result of that work, Motu identified some key research and science communication gaps.

Read the Coordination and Cooperation for Effective Climate Policy Design executive summary (75 KB).

Progress Report, June 2011 (98 KB). The final project report will be released shortly.

All related publications and presentations to the project can be found on our Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emissions page.

Aims and Objectives

In the course of our research, informed by stakeholders, we looked into a range of issues related to agricultural emissions. We looked into mitigation options including through productivity improvements already accessible, and further developed our empirically-based land-use modeling of where rural mitigation is likely to occur. We looked into the economic environment surrounding the New Zealand agricultural sector. This includes our place in international markets, and how global GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions policy (including metrics), as well as local water quality policy might affect our farmers and the NZETS. We developed our capacity, and that of stakeholders, particularly through the AgDialogue group (covered below). And we undertook important research into farmer behaviour change, cooperation and uptake of new technologies. This research will help New Zealand reduce our agricultural emissions, and implement the ETS or other regulatory policy.

As a result of our programme, central and local government, agricultural decision makers and Māori have improved their understanding of the operation of the agricultural and forestry components of an emissions trading system and climate change mitigation policy more generally. They better understand the impacts and opportunities it will bring for them and others. They have defined new strategies for developing and implementing climate mitigation and adaptation policies. These involve clarifying ownership of and potentially reallocating newly valuable resources and coordinating action among large numbers of actors.

By moving New Zealand forward on agricultural emissions, we can act as a successful example of dealing with agricultural GHGs to help guide other countries wanting to reduce their agricultural emissions.

AgDialogue Group

Under this programme, Motu, in collaboration with EcoClimate, ran a professionally facilitated dialogue group on how to efficiently control agricultural emissions in the medium term. It was designed to help technical people understand the real world constraints that must be addressed, making their technical knowledge more applicable, and stakeholders understand the science and economics relevant to addressing allocation and institutional issues. The dialogue process drew on and provided feedback to Motu’s research and looked to ensure that agricultural emissions are addressed in a way that that is robust, effective, efficient and fair. It was facilitated by Glen Lauder of Common Ground.

The group was made up of farmers, tangata whenua, and representatives from farm industry groups, NGOs, and the government, and was informed by a wide range of climate change experts from many different institutions.  As a complement to this group we enhanced our emissions trading games as a tool to facilitate greater understanding in the general population of how the emissions trading system would affect agriculture.

As a follow up to the group we are creating a short film reflecting perspectives of farmers, the farming industry, scientists and policy makers on key issues for agricultural mitigation. The AgDialogue group also started a blog about Agricultural Emissions, where various related issues continue to be discussed.

Read about the Agricultural Emissions Dialogue Group. (260 KB)