New Zealand farmers are calling bullshit on a "fart tax" the governments wants to levy on them based on the methane released by cattle flatulence, burps, and manure. A greenhouse gas, methane is one of the primary drivers of climate change. According to a United Nations report, 32 percent of the methane tied to human activities around the world comes from "livestock emissions from manure and enteric fermentation." From Yahoo! News:
The farming sector is responsible for more than half of New Zealand's emissions, and the levy hopes to contribute to the goal of being climate neutral by 2050 and reducing methane emissions by 10 per cent by 2030.
The sector is one of the last sectors in New Zealand to pay for emissions. The country has had an emissions trading system since 2008, but farmers have not had to participate until now.
From The Guardian:
The plan would "rip the guts out of small town New Zealand", says Andrew Hoggard, the Federated Farmers president. "[Farmers] will be selling up so fast you won't even hear the dogs barking on the back of the ute as they drive off."
Meanwhile, environmental groups such as Greenpeace are dismayed dairy is not being targeted more. "It's greenwash," says spokesperson Christine Rose. "The industry has still managed to secure a system that won't properly regulate, price or cut methane emissions." Greenpeace and other groups believe herd sizes must be dramatically reduced, the use of synthetic fertiliser slashed and a shift to plant-based regenerative organic farming prioritised.