New Zealand’s government has proposed taxing ‘cow burps’ along with other farm animal gases to “tackle climate change.”
As part of a plan to reset agricultural production, the Labour administration, led by Jacinda Ardern, claimed the “farm levy” would be a world first, and farmers should be able to recoup the cost by simply charging more for their products.
Standing behind a podium of hay bales at a North Island dairy farm, Ardern and three of her ministers unveiled the government’s new plan.
“No other country in the world has yet developed a system for pricing and reducing agricultural emissions, so our farmers are set to benefit from being first movers,” Ardern said.
“Cutting emissions will help New Zealand farmers to not only be the best in the world but the best for the world.”
Cow Burps and emissions output
The plans include taxing methane emitted by livestock and nitrous oxide emitted by fertilizer-rich urine, which supposedly contributes to around half of New Zealand’s overall emissions output.
Unsurprisingly, farmers condemned the proposal, making it much harder for farms to function.
According to Federated Farmers, the industry’s leading lobby group, the tax would “rip the guts out of small-town New Zealand,’ affecting food production and making beef and lamb consumption a more expensive option.
“Our plan was to keep farmers farming,” Federated Farmers President Andrew Hoggard told the New Zealand Herald.
He added that farmers would sell their farms “so fast you won’t even hear the dogs barking on the back of the ute (pickup truck) as they drive off.”
Beef and Lamb New Zealand also expressed concerns the Ardern government had proposed to reduce the categories of sequestration recognized.
“New Zealand sheep and beef farmers have more than 1.4 million hectares of native forest on their land which is absorbing carbon, and it’s only fair this is appropriately recognized in any framework from day one,” its chairman Andrew Morrison said.
The news comes a month after the Dutch city of Haarlem announced it would ban meat advertising due to climate change.
The Daily Fetched reported in September:
The city near Amsterdam has agreed to outlaw ads for intensively farmed meat in public places from 2024.
The city council quietly approved the move in November.
“It will be the first city in the Netherlands — and in fact Europe and indeed the world — to ban ‘bad’ meat ads in public places,” Ziggy Klazes, councillor for the GroenLinks (Green-Left) party who drafted the motion, told AFP.
She argued it went against the city’s politics to “earn money by renting the city’s public space to products which accelerate global warming.”
Klazes said the ban would target all “cheap meat from intensive farming,” adding, “as far as I’m concerned, that includes ads from fast food chains.”