New Zealand mulls levying tax on cattle burps, dung to fight climate change

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 New Zealand mulls levying tax on cattle burps, dung to fight climate change
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  • New Zealand recently came up with a proposal to tax livestock burps and dung.
  • The proposal is to get the “agricultural emissions-pricing system” into force by 2025.
  • Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, also lent her support to the proposal to tax agricultural emissions.

In its efforts to fight climate change, New Zealand recently came up with an unusual proposal to tax livestock burps and dung. A consultation which began a couple of weeks ago has proposed a tax for agricultural emissions, including animal burps, urine, and dung. The proposal is to get the “agricultural emissions-pricing system” into force by 2025.

According to the consultation document, the New Zealand government expects this revenue to get “recycled back into agriculture sector through new technology, research and incentive payments to farmers”.

The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, was also supportive of the proposal. "This is an important step forward in New Zealand’s transition to a low emissions future and delivers on our promise to price agriculture emissions from 2025," Ardern said in an official statement.

“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,” she added.

The document mentioned that carbon dioxide is produced from urea, while nitrous oxide arises from livestock dung and urine. Methane is emitted through belching, it also stated.

Meanwhile, the authorities in New Zealand believe that greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture account for over half of the country’s gross emissions.

When is agricultural emissions pricing expected to begin?

The consultation document has set 1 January 2025 as the date for agricultural pricing to begin. There was a wide view that a simplified or basic farm-level pricing system could be implemented by 2025.

“While the Government is committed to implementing agricultural pricing in 2025, a lot of work is required to implement a farm-level pricing system by 2025. The proposal is therefore to develop an interim processor-level levy system as a transitional step, in the event a farm-level pricing system is not possible in 2025,” the document noted.


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