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New Zealand government scraps plans to tax ag emissions

The New Zealand government has announced plans to exclude agriculture from the country’s emissions trading plan and explore other ways to reduce methane. 

Last week, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said the government is scrapping plans for the “burp tax”, which was set to begin in 2025, aimed at lowering greenhouse gas emissions from sheep and cattle.

In 2022, then-Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the government planned to tax agricultural emissions to slow global warming and said farmers would be able to recoup the increased costs by charging more for climate-friendly meat.  The announcement of the tax resulted in nationwide protests by farmers worried about its effect on their bottom line.

Agriculture minister Todd McClay says the country is focused on finding practical tools and technology for its farmers to reduce emissions in a way that won’t reduce production or exports.

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