Methane Tax Will ‘Take Away the Backyard BBQ,’ Nationals Leader Warns

Methane Tax Will ‘Take Away the Backyard BBQ,’ Nationals Leader Warns
Whether bbqing for a dinner or an outdoor party, there are plenty of tasty options. (Courtesy of Juicy Juice)

Leader of the centre-right Nationals Party has urged Labor not to adopt New Zealand’s style methane tax, saying it will cost Australians at the grocery store amid the cost of living crisis.

It comes following the news on Thursday that the Labor government is looking to pledge its support to U.S. President Joe Biden’s global pledge to reduce methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030.

More than 100 countries backed the Global Methane Pledge at the COP26 climate conference 2021, including the United States and the European Union.

However, Nationals MP David Littleproud warned the move would drive up food prices and would be “another blow to families who are really struggling right now.”

Littleproud said the Nationals will refuse to support the methane pledge, which he described as “just an attack on our farms and ultimately Australian families.”

He called on Labor to revert any commitment and start “helping Australian families, rather than hurting them even more.”

“Australians are already hurting with petrol prices, electricity prices and food prices,” Littleproud said.

“Now the Aussie BBQ is under threat. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese wants to take away the backyard BBQ.”

“We know Australians love their sausages, stakes, rissoles and lamb meals – all of that will become out of reach for many.”

“We do not want to see the Aussie BBQ available to only the rich – we urge Labor to reject the methane madness idea and embrace the Aussie BBQ spirit instead of destroy it.”

Australian Labor Government Pushes Forward With Global Methane Pledge

Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen noted the government had started investing in technologies to cut methane emissions in livestock.  He also said that a consultation process about whether to sign up for the global pledge is ongoing.

“Countries joining the Global Methane Pledge voluntarily commit to working together to collectively reduce methane emissions,” he said.

“In this way, it is an aspirational, global goal rather than a domestic target.”

Meanwhile, the New Zealand government has taken on the proposal by the farming sector for a separate pricing system on greenhouse emissions, which includes paying tax on the methane produced by livestock, most notably its cows and sheep.
“The proposal aims to give New Zealand farmers control over their farming system, providing the ability to reduce costs through revenue raised from the system being recycled back to farmers, which will fund further research, tools and technology, and incentives to reduce emissions,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

The pricing system is designed with the intent that revenue raised from the “flatulent” tax will go back into the agriculture sector in the form of sequestration investment, transition support, and sustainability research.

Rebecca Zhu contributed to this report.
Nina Nguyen is a reporter based in Sydney. She covers Australian news with a focus on social, cultural, and identity issues. She is fluent in Vietnamese. Contact her at [email protected].
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