Albanese Government Promises Farmers Will Be Safe if Australia Signs the Methane Pledge

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The Australian government is considering joining more than 120 countries to support US Joe Biden’s pledge to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030. 

During Glasgow’s climate summit last year, Biden secured commitments from more than 100 countries, but Australia refused to commit to it then.

Recently, the government took steps to validate the impact of pledging to the cause. 

According to resources minister Madeleine King, “We are looking at the global methane pledge seriously, and we are also taking consultation seriously because our export industries of resources and agriculture are critical to the economy, and they deserve to be respected and not have shocks put on them.”

On the other hand, the Opposition rejected the idea of Australia pledging to Biden’s plan. Liberal leader Peter Dutton states that the pledge is “threatening to destroy rural jobs.” 

Barnaby Joyce notes that if the pledge takes place, farmers would be forced to kill off their cattle. 

“The only way you can get your 30 per cent by 2030 reduction of methane on 2020 levels would be to grab a rifle and go out and shoot your cattle,” Joyce adds.

But according to Labour Agriculture Minister Murray Watt, the methane pledge is an aspirational goal that most farm groups now support. 

He also states that he is comfortable signing up. “One of the things that industry has been saying to me is that they’re quite comfortable with these things, especially if the government is prepared to provide support such as support for the expanded use of asparagopsis—the seaweed that can help bring down methane.”

The Albanese administration has also assured that the decision to sign the pledge will not negatively impact farmers, including ensuring no new tax or regulation be put on livestock methane and providing ongoing support to develop technology-led solutions.

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