New Zealand taxes farmers for methane released by sheep and cows

To address harmful methane released from livestock into the atmosphere, New Zealand is taxing farmers and their livestock for these emissions. With a population of merely five million, the nation’s carbon footprint is relatively small. Its hoofprint, however, is through the roof. In a world-first, New Zealand’s farmers will have to pay a tax for every methane-emitting 10 million cattle and 26 million sheep that roam the scenic countryside. Farmers will be able to mitigate their tax burden if they lower emissions by modernizing their operations. Where the program could fail, is if farmers pick up and move their businesses to another country. With the average cow emitting a whopping 220 pounds of methane gas per day, Mike Drolet reports on the impact this move could have.

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