Government farm emissions tax meets resistance
The Government has announced it will introduce a controversial tax from 2025 on farm emissions. The Government says the taxes were based on industry recommendations, but the group involved disagrees.
Known as the “fart tax”, it will impose costs on farmers based on the nitrous oxide in animal urine and some fertilizers, and methane emissions from manure and animal belching.
DairyNZ chair Jim van der Poel said the Government had put meeting emission targets as the top priority. Many farmers involved with drafting the recommendations said there was an agreement to fine tune operations, but when the recommendations went back to the Government, changes were made in favor of reducing production.
The Climate Change Commission will make the final recommendations on prices and processes.
Farming group Groundswell NZ has previously said this is farming’s “nuclear moment”.
It has been reported that the Government is concerned about the short time frame they have to implement the scheme with a number of key elements needing to be in place on schedule to achieve its 2030 goals.
Federated Farmers said the tax will “rip the guts out of small town New Zealand” and have since quit their involvement in the consultation group.
He has echoed industry reps saying the tax will lead to a 20% drop in meat production.
Party leader Chris Luxon has said a National-led Government would repeal the measure. Southland MP Joseph Mooney has said farmers should be disappointed that the Government failed to recognize that Kiwi farmers are already the most “carbon efficient” in the world.
Several industry groups are also saying the Government’s efforts will result in emission leakage. As costs increase for NZ farmers to meet green emission regulations, consumers shift to cheaper overseas producers. The net effect, according to the recommendations’ critics, is a global increase in emissions.
Emission Trading Schemes
Initially it was proposed farmers would not get a credit for planting trees, but the Government seems prepared to now consider recognising tree planting as a form of carbon sequestration.
There is a large degree of disagreement among experts on the influence of methane gas on climate change. It is anything but “settled science” as climate change models are notoriously inaccurate. Many have asked if it is wise to set such a broad policy based on modeling that is often subject to change?
In addition, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently stated New Zealand’s constant methane emissions are highly overstated by 300% to 400%. Many are confused by the science behind the Government’s policy and argue it’s not as clear cut as the Labour or Green Party would suggest.
Similar schemes cause unrest overseas
The scheme mirrors similar measures adopted by a growing number of other national governments that are aligned with Climate Change Alarmism.
In particular, Dutch farmers formed large protests, since many faced having herds reduced to meet the imposed emission demands. The Netherlands is the world’s most productive nation in terms of agricultural output per capita. Dutch emissions targets would lead to close to 30% of farms being shut down, and recent reports show the Dutch government plans to buy hundreds of farms to that end, setting aside over 24 billion euros to do so.
Turmoil in Sri Lanka driven by sanctions on fertilizer led to systemic crop failures this year. The failures have left Sri Lankans facing hunger, having been forced to import grains that they could have otherwise produced domestically. The increased reliance on imports has pushed local CPI to nearly 40%. As reported earlier in the year, the country has seen large-scale riots in the wake of its food production crisis.