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Australia considers signing up to 'cow fart' pledge

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Australia is backing a US-led global push to slash methane emissions by 30 per cent over the next decade, amid claims it will drive up the price of meat.

 

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Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said it was too soon to make a formal announcement but the pledge had his support.

Watt said the global pact was “pretty much backed” by key industry groups as well.

“I would be comfortable if we were to sign up to this,” he told ABC radio on Thursday.

Watt denied the global pact would drive up food prices.

He ruled out following New Zealand by imposing a price on methane emissions, which has been labelled a burp or fart tax on cows.

“It’s more of an aspirational goal,” he said.

Nationals leader David Littleproud warned meat prices would skyrocket as a result of the pledge.

“This is another blow to families who are really struggling right now. We will not support a methane pledge, which is really just an attack on our farms and ultimately Australian families,” he said.

“I urge Labor to rethink this terrible idea and start helping Australian families, rather than hurting them even more.”

Watt dismissed the remarks as “hyperbole and scare campaigns”.

“We’re not planning to do anything that is going to have a direct impact on people’s prices,” he said.

“The industry wouldn’t be looking at moving towards carbon-neutral meat production if they weren’t comfortable that the industry would be sustainable and viable.”

-AAP

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