Business & Economy

New Zealand to price sheep, cow burps to tackle emissions

Sydney, Australia, Jun 8 (EFE).- New Zealand on Wednesday released a draft plan to price agricultural emissions, mainly from the belching of livestock, to tackle greenhouse gas sources.

The measure is part of the efforts of the Oceanian country, a large agricultural exporter, to combat the climate crisis and would make it the first country in which farmers would pay for emissions from their livestock.

In New Zealand, a country of 5 million people, almost half of all emissions come from the agricultural sector, mainly from its 26 million sheep and 10 million cows, which expel methane through belching and flatulence.

According to the draft plan, submitted by He Waka Eke Noa – Primary Sector Climate Action Partnership, farmers will have to pay for their gas emissions from 2025, although the document does not detail how the amount of emissions will be measured.

“Our recommendations enable sustainable food and fiber production for future generations while playing a fair part in meeting our country’s climate commitments,” said He Waka Eke Noa chair Michael Ahie.

The recommendations include incentives for farmers to reduce emissions, which can also be offset by planting forests, according to the document. Short-and long-lived farm gas will be also priced separately.

“We are all committed to pricing agricultural emissions to ensure their reduction from 2025,” Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said in a statement, underlining a high consumer demand for sustainable products.

Climate Change Minister James Shaw said that “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.”

The government has a goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and has until the end of the year to decide how it will tax emissions from the agricultural sector. EFE


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