Tuesday, February 27, 2024

New Zealand Plans to Charge Farmers for Livestock Emissions

by Colter Brown

New Zealand farmers recently gathered in towns and cities across the country to protest against the government’s plan to tax “agricultural emissions.” Reuters says the government confirmed plans to price agricultural gases and biogenic methane, which it says come from cow and sheep burps.

Farmers drove tractors and carried signs protesting the proposed plan. Farm groups wonder how the proposal accounts for on-farm forestry and what can offset such emissions. They also worry about how the emissions will be priced and how the program will be governed.

One of the protestors told state-owned Radio New Zealand that they aren’t necessarily wanting exemptions. The farmers want to work out how it’s going to be best for them and the country.

New Zealand’s prime minister told reporters they wanted feedback from the agricultural community, and the plan is in a consultation phase. The government wants to work with producers to find a solution.

The proposed plan on livestock emissions is intended to be introduced in 2025 and will make New Zealand the first country to have farmers pay for emissions from livestock.

New Zealand has about 10 million cattle and 26 million sheep. Nearly half its total greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, mainly methane, but agricultural emissions have previously been exempted from the country’s emissions tax.



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