Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

In a First, New Zealand to Tax Cattle Burps to Curb Methane Emissions

June 11, 2022
Cattle Burps

New Zealand has unveiled plans to tax cattle burps to deal with one of the country’s largest sources of greenhouse gases.

It will be the first country to charge farmers for methane emissions from their livestock.

With around 10 million cattle and 26 million sheep, New Zealand is home to just over five million people.

About half of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, mostly methane.

However, agricultural emissions were not previously part of New Zealand’s emissions trading system, which has been criticised by those who have called on the government to do more to curb global warming.

“There is no question that we need to cut the amount of methane we are putting into the atmosphere, and an effective emissions pricing system for agriculture will play a key part in how we achieve that,” New Zealand’s climate change minister James Shaw said.

According to the proposal, from 2025, farmers will have to pay for their gas emissions.

The plan also includes incentives for farmers who reduce emissions by adding food, where emissions can be stopped by planting trees in the fields.

The country’s environment ministry said the money raised from the programme would be invested in farmers’ research, development and advisory services.

Last month, New Zealand’s finance minister committed NZ $2.9 billion (£1.5 billion; $1.9 billion) for initiatives to tackle climate change, which would be funded by an emissions trading system that taxed polluters.