New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Tuesday proposed taxing farmers for the “greenhouse gas emissions” resulting from their livestock’s burps and urine. Under the proposal, farmers who meet a certain herd or fertilizer threshold will be forced to pay the government a tax set every one to three years.
Ardern, who once threatened to ban summer unless enough citizens took the government’s COVID injections, assumes farmers will celebrate her new proposal.
“The proposal, as it stands, means New Zealand’s farmers are set to be the first in the world to reduce agricultural emissions,” said Ardern, whose rationale is that farmers will be able to charge more for their products if they are “environmentally friendly.” Ardern did not present data showing a high demand among meat consumers for “sustainable” meat.
“No other country in the world has yet developed a system for pricing and reducing agricultural emissions, so our farmers are set to benefit from being first movers,” Ardern continued. “Cutting emissions will help New Zealand farmers to not only be the best in the world but the best for the world.”
Farmers, however, have condemned the plan. According to the New York Post, the farming industry’s main lobby group Federated Farmers said the proposal will “rip the guts out of small town New Zealand.”
“Our plan was to keep farmers farming,” said Federated Farmers President Andrew Hoggard. Instead, he said farmers would be selling their farms “so fast you won’t even hear the dogs barking on the back of the ute (pickup truck) as they drive off.”
But Ardern is not the only czarist leader to burden farmers with restrictions in order to save the weather.
In July Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau disregarded the country’s provinces as he decided to move forward with a new environmental decree to reduce nitrogen emissions from fertilizer by 30% below 2020 levels.
Trudeau’s move mirrored that of the Netherlands, whose mandate that farmers reduce their emissions by 30% to protect the environment sparked fierce nationwide protests. Those protests also spilled into Trudeau territory, with hundreds of Canadians demonstrating outside the Dutch embassy in Ottawa.
While Trudeau’s unilateral “climate plan” will likely cause food shortages, the prime minister has already told Canadians to expect it.
“We’ve seen from the global pandemic to the war in Ukraine significant disruptions of supply chains around the world, which is resulting in higher prices for consumers and democracies like ours, and resulting in significant shortages and projected shortages of food and energy in places around the world,” Trudeau said in April after giving himself a raise.
“This is going to be a difficult time,” he continued, “because of the war, because of the recovery from the pandemic. And Canadians will do what we always do: we’ll be there for each other.”