New Zealand farmers protest cow burp tax | WORLD
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New Zealand farmers protest cow burp tax

Cattle in New Zealand. Associated Press/Photo by Mark Baker

New Zealand farmers protest cow burp tax

Lobby group Groundswell New Zealand organized nearly 50 drive-in protests across the country, but the largest was only a couple dozen vehicles. Last week, the government proposed a tax on methane emissions caused by cows burping. The New Zealand government said about half of the country’s greenhouse gas comes from agriculture. The government’s goal is to reduce emissions by 10 percent by 2030. The government says the farmers can make up the tax on emissions by charging more and marketing their products as climate-friendly.

How do farmers explain their work? Some worry that the tax will increase emissions by shifting farming to less efficient countries. One farmer at the protests said many New Zealand farmers have lived on their land for generations. They are trying to help the environment to keep their farm profitable, rather than destroy it. He said many farmers are planting more trees to pull carbon out of the air. He said herd reductions and the tax could ruin some farmers.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Daniel James Devine’s report in Beginnings on President Joe Biden’s plan to regulate methane.

Mary Muncy

Mary Muncy is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. She graduated from World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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