Environment.  New Zealand wants to tax cow farts

Environment. New Zealand wants to tax cow farts

New Zealand on Tuesday unveiled plans to tax greenhouse gas emissions from farm animals, as part of a controversial proposal to tackle climate change.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the tax would be the first of its kind in the world.

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6.2 million New Zealand cows

Gases emitted naturally by New Zealand’s 6.2 million cows are among the country’s biggest environmental problems.

Under the scheme, farmers pay for the emissions of their animals, such as methane from the fart and belching of cows, and nitrous oxide from the urine of cattle.

Jacinda Ardern told farmers they should be able to get their money back, by raising the prices of their climate-friendly produce. She said this “realistic proposal” would reduce agricultural emissions while making products more environmentally friendly, thus enhancing New Zealand’s “export brand”.

Towards the introduction of the law in 3 years

The government hopes its draft will be signed next year and the tax can be introduced within three years.

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But with elections set fifteen months away in New Zealand, the plan could cost rural ballots in Ardern, with farmers quick to condemn the plan.

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