Under current projections, the country’s Climate Change Commission has estimated the figure at 2.7 million acres of carbon forest by 2050, but other models have seen a need for more than 13 million. acres, or about 70% of the area occupied by sheep and cattle farms in New Zealand. .
Shaving 2.7 million acres from the sheep and beef sector could result in a loss of NZ$2 billion a year in exports, Mr Woodford said. Meat and wool are New Zealand’s second largest export category, totaling around $12 billion, or 15% of total exports.
With no obvious industry to fill the export gap, the exchange rate would come under downward pressure, which would ultimately increase import costs for New Zealanders, Mr Woodford said. “That in itself is not going to cause a disaster, but it is certainly significant,” he said of the loss of large areas of cattle and sheep farms.
For rural communities, carbon farming risks creating “green deserts” of trees that generate few jobs. Permanent carbon forestry provides about one job per year for 2,500 acres after planting, according to a report by Te Uru Rakau, New Zealand’s forestry department. Forest forestry generates dozens of jobs during planting and harvesting, but few during the three decades between. Cattle and sheep farming provide regular and seasonal employment of approximately 13 full-time jobs per 2,500 acres.
Horehore Station, the recently sold ranch, employed three people full-time and many more part-time, including shearers, fencers and helicopter pilots, Mr Hindrup said. Then there were the truckers, cafe owners, and others who indirectly depended on ranch revenue.