Australia to pledge to cut methane emissions by 30%


Australia’s new left-leaning government is set to commit to reducing global methane emissions by 30% by 2030. 

More than 100 countries, including the United States and the European Union, have signed up to reduce methane emissions by 2030.

The move is in contrast to the former Coalition government. At the time, the then-deputy prime minister suggested the methane reduction target would force farmers to kill their cattle. 

"The only way you can get your 30% by 2030 reduction of methane on 2020 levels would be to grab a rifle and go out and shoot your cattle," Barnaby Joyce said in October last year.

The target is now backed by Labor Agriculture Minister Murray Watt.

"This methane pledge is an aspirational goal from the world to bring down our methane emissions, which is something not only that I support but that most farm groups support," Senator Watt said on Thursday morning. 

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and the agriculture sector contributes about half of Australia's methane emissions.

Farmers were already working to reduce emissions, according to National Farmers' Federation chief executive Tony Mahar.

"We won't support any outcome that would lead to a reduction in livestock numbers and we've had assurance from government on that front," he said. 

"For agriculture, the best way to reduce emissions further is to arm us with cost-effective technology solutions, not to pursue punitive taxes of regulate farmers out of existence."

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