New Zealand has announced a draft plan to have farmers pay for emissions from livestock to tackle one of the country’s biggest sources of greenhouse gases.

The proposal, created by the government and farm community representatives, would make New Zealand, which is a massive agricultural exporter, the very first country to have farmers pay for emissions from their livestock.

New Zealand has a population of over 5 million people but has about 10 million cattle and 26 million sheep, Reuters reports.

Source: Earthling Ed/Youtube

Half of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, but the emissions have been exempted from the emissions trading scheme, which many feel is contrary to the government’s commitment to stop global warming.

According to the plan, farmers will have to pay for their gas emissions from 2025. A single measure to calculate the volume will be used, and short and long-lived farm gas will be priced separately.

“There is no question that we need to cut the amount of methane we are putting into the atmosphere, and an effective emissions pricing system for agriculture will play a key part in how we achieve that,” said Climate Change Minister James Shaw.

The plan will also include incentives for farmers who reduce emissions through things like feed additives and adding on-farm forestry to offset emissions. Revenue from the plan will be invested into the scheme will be invested in research.

A final decision will likely be made in December, and if all goes well, the proposal could be the biggest regulatory disruption to farming since the 1980s, when agricultural subsidies were removed.

Although this would be a step in the right direction, we know that this will not solve all of our problems. The fact remains that reducing meat or dairy products is the best and sure shot for the environment, your health, and the animals. Check out this calculator that tells you how many animals, gallons of water, and carbon emissions you can save by not eating meat.

Shifting to a more plant-based diet and curbing meat consumption can tremendously help the planet, The United Nation recently released a report warning countries about the dangers of climate change and has urged people to eat more plant-based as a way to curb it. We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, plant-based/vegan, and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is also known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and more! Plant-based diets have also been found to lower rates and risks for various diseases! Conversely, dairy and meat consumption has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and more.

Read more about how meat production impacts the planet:

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