Burp tax

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Source– This post on Burp tax is based on the article “Why has New Zealand removed the ‘burp tax’ on livestock?” published in “Indian Express” on 17th June 2024.

Why in the News?

Recently, New Zealand announced scrapping the ‘burp tax.

About burp tax

1. About the Burp Tax: It was a tax introduced in 2022 by New Zealand. The tax was imposed on greenhouse gas emissions from livestock, particularly focusing on methane emissions.

Note: Methane is a potent greenhouse gas released by ruminant animals like cows and sheep, mainly through burping.

2. Aim: The primary aim of the scheme was to curtail methane emissions from ruminant species

Why Was the Burp Tax Introduced?

1. Environmental Concerns: Methane is responsible for 30% of global warming since preindustrial times, second only to carbon dioxide. Animals such as cows, sheep, goats, and buffaloes have a digestive system that ferments food in their rumen, producing methane.

2. New Zealand’s Livestock: New Zealand has around 10 million cattle and 25 million sheep. Livestock is the source of nearly half of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Why Was the Burp Tax Removed?

1. Farmer Protests: Farmers protested against the tax, arguing it would severely impact their livelihoods.  They demonstrated by traveling in convoys of tractors and pick-up trucks to cities and towns.

2. Change in Government: The current centre-right coalition led by the National Party decided to scrap the tax. The government stated they are committed to reducing methane emissions through practical tools and technology that won’t affect production or exports.

UPSC Syllabus: Environment

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