New Zealand has unveiled a plant to tax sheep and cattle burps in a bid to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.
The new proposal will see farmers pay for their gas emissions from 2025 – there will be separate prices for short and long-lived gases.
According to the UNEP, agriculture is a major contributor to methane emissions – previous research had estimated that cattle farming is responsible for 3.7% of all emissions.
The Durham University, Newcastle University and the Environment Agency had previously suggested that methane emissions from old oil and gas wells were generally low compared to other sources of the gas, which include livestock burping.
Earlier this year, environmental data firm GHGSat said its own satellites detected methane emissions coming from cows at a feedlot in Joaquin Valley, California.
New Zealand’s Climate Change Minister James Shaw said: “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.
“The Emissions Reduction Plan ensures everyone does their bit to reduce emissions. Farmers and growers are key partners in these efforts, and we will continue working with the sector as we consider the sector partnership’s recommendations.”