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Australia may sign up to methane pledge

Minister Murray Watt says a review found claims of "industry capture" at a key chemicals regulator.

Minister Murray Watt says a review found claims of "industry capture" at a key chemicals regulator. Photo: AAP

The federal agriculture minister has backed Australia signing up to US President Joe Biden’s pledge to reduce methane emissions by 30 per cent over the decade, saying it won’t hike up food prices.

Murray Watt says the government is yet to make an announcement on joining the commitment, but the pledge has his support.

“I would be comfortable if we were to sign up to this as the representative of the agriculture industry and the government and position is pretty much backed in by all the industry groups as well,” Senator Watt told ABC radio on Thursday.

He ruled out imposing a price on methane emissions, similar to a measure being pushed in New Zealand which has been called a “burp tax”.

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

He said claims made that food prices would skyrocket due to the pledge were “hyperbole and scare campaigns”.

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