New Zealand will tax methane from burping its cows and sheep

New Zealand will tax methane from burping its cows and sheep

The level of this gas, which is extremely dangerous to the environment, is now twice the level before the pre-industrial era.

An unusual but crucial decision in the fight against global warming. as shown BBCBy 2025, New Zealand will become the first country in the world to tax breeders for their methane (CH4) emissions, including the burps their animals produce. A small revolution for this country in Oceania, where intensive agriculture is an important economic gain, is home to just over 5 million people.

Emission reduction

To date, these emissions have not been accounted for in the country’s total methane emissions, an error that the authorities wish to correct. New Zealand Climate Change Minister James Shaw says in comments reported by the British media.

This plan includes not only this famous tax, but also financial incentives to reduce these emissions through the addition of food additives. Additionally, planting trees can be used to offset methane emissions. Funds raised by this program will be returned to agricultural research and development.

“We’ve been working with government and other organizations on this for years to get an approach that won’t stop farming in New Zealand, so we’ve agreed on a lot of things we’re happy with,” the statement said. Andrew Hoggard, dairy farmer and national president of the Dairy Association Federal farmers in New Zealand.

major issue

According to popular belief, flatulence aggravates the hole in the ozone layer. If this fact is proven, it is the burping of sheep and cattle that has the greatest consequences for the environment. according to Science and the futureIn one year, French cows emit the equivalent of 15 million cars.

A problem due to the slow digestion of these animals, which causes these animals to return to the atmosphere, which can be seen from the sky. as detailed Futura Science, a monitoring satellite was able to determine the existence of a California farm solely by methane emissions from its cows. Intensive agriculture is often blamed for promoting gases that are dangerous to the planet. Under these conditions, and without grassland at its disposal, a cow would produce 5,000 tons of methane annually.

The problem could be – and New Zealand understood this well in their work – being addressed in part by feeding animals where digestion cannot be modified. Thus, in France, the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) is working on a flax-based diet that would reduce methane gas emissions by 20%, according to Science and the future.

“Methane is produced by the decomposition of carbohydrates. Flax has the peculiarity of having a little and on the other hand a lot of protein. It is this substitution that causes the decrease in emission,” explains Michel Durou, researcher at INRA Clermont-Ferrand.

And time is running out. As the BBC reports, methane in the atmosphere has hit record levels and is currently double its pre-industrial level.

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