Climate Change

What is climate change?

Climate change describes changing climate patterns that:

  • can be attributed to human activity that alters the earth’s atmosphere;
  • are beyond natural climate variations observed over comparable time periods.

The effects of global warming and climate change are already measurable. New Zealand’s climate is changing, largely because of the build-up in the earth’s atmosphere of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Climate change presents considerable challenges to all land owners, and particularly Māori. Climate change is in addition to the natural climate variability such as El Nino events.

Climate change is a priority work area for MPI. Climate change will have a direct impact on farmers, growers, and foresters, and the whole New Zealand economy. Internationally, consumers are increasingly concerned about responding to climate change and environmental issues.

MPI’s role is to ensure New Zealand’s land based sectors are resilient and can respond to the opportunities and challenges of climate change. To do this, MPI provides policy advice to the government, funds research, provides information to industry, farmers, growers and foresters, and works internationally on climate change issues.

MPI works:

  • to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
  • internationally;
  • on impacts and adaptation;
  • to develop resources and tools;
  • in research;
  • on other initiatives, including carbon markets.

MPI has a policy role to advise the Government on the agriculture and forestry aspects of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS). It also administers the NZ ETS for the forestry sector and with other government agencies. More information on the Government’s approach to climate change can be found on the Climate change information website.

More information is available about the Sustainable Land Management and Climate Change: Plan of Action and past consultation processes.


A changing climate will provide both challenges and opportunities for farmers, growers and foresters. Read More
NZETS, Forestry, GHG reporting & foot printing all help reduce New Zealand’s emissions ... Read more
Greenhouse Gas Footprinting, Biochar,  Bioenergy, Carbon Markets and Soil Carbon...Read More
The GRA focuses on finding ways to grow more food without growing greenhouse gas emissions...Read more
Climate Change research, funding and grant information. Read more
Information and resources about Climate Change Read more
Digital library of resources relating to the risks and impacts of climate change on land based businesses. Read more


Last Updated: 7/15/2014

Contact MPI

for general enquiries phone

0800 00 83 33