The New Zealand government has proposed a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the country that includes a tax on methane gas emissions, specifically.
The nation with twice as many cattle as people will begin taxing farmers on their methane emissions in 2025. According to the proposal, almost half of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are due to agriculture.
“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,” said New Zealand’s climate change minister James Shaw in a statement.
The New Zealand Emissions Reduction Plan aims to reduce methane emissions in the country to 24 to 47 percent below 2017 levels by 2050. Farmers will be offered incentives to reduce their carbon emissions by using additives in cattle feed and planting additional trees on their farms that help decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
Methane gas is the second largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and per molecule, is more harmful to the environment. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, methane “is more than 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere,” and its prevalence has increased more than twofold “due to human activities.”
“The emissions reduction plan puts Aotearoa New Zealand on a path to achieve our long term targets and contribute to global efforts to limit temperature rise to 1.5˚C above pre-industrial levels. The actions in this plan enable us to meet our first emissions budget,” said the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: WASHINGTON EXAMINER
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