“New Zealand has over 60 million sheep. Sheep produce about 30 litres of methane a day. If (New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda) Ardern was serious about addressing “climate change” shouldn’t she start by culling the entire sheep population of NZ?”
One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts. August 14, 2019.
One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts says New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern should consider culling all of her country’s methane-producing sheep before criticising the Australian government on emissions and climate change.
Ms Ardern has drawn the ire of conservative figures, including broadcaster Alan Jones, after saying Australia “has to answer to the Pacific” on its emissions reductions at the Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu which ran from August 13 to 16.
AAP FactCheck examined Mr Roberts’ claim that New Zealand has 60 million sheep, each producing 30 litres of methane each day.
According to New Zealand’s official data agency, Stats NZ, the most recent farm census was conducted in 2017 and recorded 27.5 million sheep in the country.
According to CSIRO senior technician Andrew Toovey, sheep produce between 25 and 30 litres of methane – a greenhouse gas – each day. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) Australia also claims sheep produce 30 litres of methane per day.
New Zealand’s Greenhouse Gas inventory for 2017, released in April 2019, showed sheep produced 12.7 per cent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. Dairy cattle accounted for 22.5 per cent, while electricity generation created 4.4 per cent.
Based on the above evidence, AAP FactCheck found Mr Roberts’ claim to be ambiguous. New Zealand has less than half the number of sheep Mr Roberts claimed it did, but sheep do produce between 25 and 30 litres of methane each day.
Ambiguous – It is not possible to determine the veracity of the statement, or it has an equal weighting of true and false elements.
First published August 16, 2019 17:21 AEST