Because agriculture is by far New Zealand's largest greenhouse gas emitter, it is a priority area for Climate First to reduce. So far agriculture has not done its fair share to restrain emissions rise because it is claimed there are few methods to available to reduce methane and nitrous oxide emissions from livestock. As well, it is our biggest export earner, and all parties have not wanted to incorporate the agricultural sector into the ETS, for fear of rendering it internationally uncompetitive.
Climate First takes a different approach following two of its basic principles. Firstly, if reductions are to happen, they must be fairly shared or people and sectors will not co-operate. For example, why should city people drive their cars less if dairy farmers continue to profit by excessive emissions into the atmosphere? Secondly, there has to be an awareness of how much NZ must reduce, and how horrendous our increases have been since 1990 compared to any other OECD country except Turkey. This is the purpose of our Required Emission Reduction Pathway (RERP), which specifically lays out annual emission reductions for NZ as a whole and for each sector based on its current emissions. This in turn is fundamentally and mathematically based on how much NZ has to reduce in order to stay within its carbon budget before 2050.