Nationals leader David Littleproud has lashed out over news that the Albanese government is considering signing up to an international pledge to reduce methane emissions by 2030.
According to the CSIRO, if cattle were a country, Australia would be the world’s third largest emitter at 15 per cent of global emissions.
The Global Methane Pledge was supported by more than 100 countries at the COP26 climate conference last year, including the US, the EU and Japan.
The pledge is a voluntary commitment by nations to reduce their methane emissions by at least 30 per cent by 2030.
“We had a sensible policy of having emissions right across industry right across the economy but to focus in on methane effectively will put an end to BBQs,” Mr Littleproud said during a press conference on Thursday.
“This is going to drive the cost of your meat up.”
New Zealand’s government has proposed a “burp tax” on farmers by 2025 to pay for the methane emissions produced by livestock when they burp and urinate.
The plan was criticised by farmers whose main industry lobby group Federated Farmers said the tax would “rip the guts out of small town NZ”.
“We are saying to the government, walk away from this commitment to reduce methane,” Mr Littleproud said.
“It can’t be done in any sensible way, there is no science that is showing that it can be done in an efficient or economical way.”
Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen said the government had already started funding existing technologies to cut methane emissions in livestock.
Before the election, the government committed $17.2m to support the commercialisation of seaweed as a supplement that can reduce the amount of methane produced by cows by 90 per cent.
Mr Bowen confirmed that the government was consulting members of the resources and agricultural sectors about whether to sign the pledge.
“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.”