Danish farmers face world’s first carbon tax. 100 euros per cow.

Danish farmers face €100 tax for each cow
Danish farmers face €100 tax for each cow

Danish farmers face the world’s first carbon tax in a €100 tax for each cow as Denmark aims to create a forest the size of Dorset in the UK (approximately 2,653 square kilometers (1,024 square miles)) in cutting emissions to 30% of the 1990 levels by the end of this decade.

The report, as usual, coms from The Times a very fine newspaper that I rely upon daily. As you might imagine, there is a constant level of friction between governments which want to try and do something about climate change if they are so minded and farmers who resist these efforts. Countries such as Germany and France are both struggled to get along with their agricultural lobbies.

But the Danes want to introduce a package of reforms which also includes rewilding subsidies and the above-mentioned cow levy which The Times refers to as a “CO2 levy equivalent to hundred euros a year for each cow”.

It’s been described as an historic decision as the country is “giving land back to nature for the first time in 200 years” in the words of Stiig Markager, a marine ecology professor at Aarhus University.

In Denmark, agriculture accounts for about 2% of the country’s workforce and not much more than 1% of their GDP.

They are, however, one of Europe’s largest pork exporters much of which goes to China which is by far the world’s largest consumer of pigs.

Denmark also produces three times as much milk per capita than the European Union average, which indicates a lot of cows in that relatively small country. On current trending, farming is forecast to make up 46% of Denmark’s total carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.

Also, fertilisers produce nitrogen pollution which leads to ecological collapse in coastal waters and it is particularly bad in the Baltic Sea.

A marine scientist estimated that it could take 400 years for the effects to be reversed.

The government involved the farming lobby in a consensual approach to the problem and a solution was thrashed out over five months.

It needs to be approved by the Parliament and if so the scheme will be phased in from 2030.

At the center of this new policy is an effective tax rate of €16 for every tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent that each farmer’s livestock is estimated to emit after deductions have been included in the equation.

After 2030 the amount will be more than doubled but overall, it will still be significantly lower than the carbon dioxide tax levied on some industrial companies.

With respect to creating forests, the government wants a subsidy program to create 618,000 acres of which 250,000 acres will need to be untouched.

The Danish Prime Minister hope that their methods will be a template for other countries while critics said that it would undermine food security.

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Post Category: Climate change