Australian camels could be shot to curb methane
Kill a camel, earn cash for cutting greenhouse gases: That offer may be coming soon in Australia, where vast numbers of the nonnative, methane-belching animals have been trampling the Outback for more than a century.
The government has proposed that killing camels be officially registered as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Australia has the world’s largest population of wild camels—an estimated 1.2 million—and considers them to be a growing environmental problem.
The proposal, released for public comment this week, would allow sharpshooters to earn so-called carbon credits for slaughtering camels. Industrial polluters around the world could buy the credits to offset their own carbon emissions.
Each camel belches an estimated 100 pounds (45 kilograms) of methane a year, which is equivalent to a metric ton (1.1 U.S. ton) of carbon dioxide in its impact on global warming. That’s roughly one-sixth the amount of CO2 that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says an average car produces annually.
A bill to create a carbon credit regime will go to a vote in the House of Representatives on Wednesday and is expected to become law within weeks. A government registry will be set up to determine what actions will qualify for carbon credits, and bureaucrats are expected to decide by the end of the year whether killing camels will be among them.