‘Scary Experiment’: Denmark to Tax Livestock Emissions, Critics Say Small Farmers Are Real Target


by Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D., Childrens Health Defense:

As Denmark prepares to become the first country in the world to tax farmers for greenhouse gasses emitted by their livestock, critics say the real goal is to consolidate control over the food supply and shift to corporate-controlled “Pharma Food.”

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Denmark is set to become the first country in the world to tax farmers for the greenhouse gasses emitted by their livestock, in a deal reached June 24 between the Danish government and representatives of the farming industry and unions.

The tax, which specifically targets methane emissions by cows, pigs and sheep, will take effect in 2030, pending final approval by the Danish Parliament, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

Beginning in 2030, farmers will be required to pay a tax of 300 kroner (approximately $43) per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent. This will increase to 750 kroner ($108) by 2035. After a 60% tax deduction, the respective amounts will be 120 kroner ($17.30) and 300 kroner.

CNN, quoting Denmark’s “green think tank” Concito, reported that Danish dairy cows emit, on average, 5.6 tonnes (6.2 U.S. tons) of CO2-equivalent emissions per year. This would result in a tax of 672 kroner per cow ($96) in 2030 and 1,680 kroner ($241) in 2035.

The respective emissions figure for all Danish cows is an average of 6.6 tons of CO2-equivalent annually, according to the AP, which reported that the Danish government aims to reduce the country’s greenhouse emissions by 70% from 1990 levels by 2030, citing Taxation Minister Jeppe Bruus.

According to CNN, the proceeds from the tax will be used to support the agricultural industry’s green transition in the first two years, including the investment of 40 billion kroner ($3.7 billion) for measures including reforestation and establishing wetlands.

After two years, the tax will be “reassessed.”

Denmark is a significant exporter of pork and dairy products, CNN reported. Agriculture is the country’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. The AP reported that, as of June 2022, there were nearly 1.5 million cows in Denmark.

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