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Denmark to Implement Greenhouse Gas Tax on Livestock by 2030

Copenhagen, June 27, 2024, The Europe Today: Denmark will introduce a new tax on farmers for greenhouse gases produced by their livestock, announced Taxation Minister Jeppe Bruus. The tax, targeting emissions from cows, pigs, and sheep, will take effect in 2030.

This new measure aims to significantly advance Denmark’s environmental goals, including reducing emissions by 70% from 1990 levels by the end of the decade and achieving carbon neutrality. “We will take a big step closer to becoming climate neutral in 2045,” Bruus stated, lauding the initiative as making Denmark “the first country in the world to introduce a real CO2 tax on agriculture.”

Livestock farmers will face a tax of 300 kroner ($43) per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent produced by their animals. Initially, this tax will be subject to an income tax deduction of 60%. The measure is expected to impact dairy farmers most significantly, as an average Danish cow produces about six metric tons (6.6 tons) of CO2 equivalent annually, whereas pigs and sheep emit less.

Denmark, a significant livestock producer with nearly 1.5 million cattle, stands to generate more than $400 million annually in carbon taxes from this initiative. The tax is set to increase, reaching a target of 750 kroner per ton by 2035.

Dairy farming is recognized as a major contributor to human-related greenhouse gas emissions. According to the UN Environment Program, livestock account for approximately 32% of methane emissions caused by human activities.

This ambitious move by Denmark marks a significant step in addressing climate change and positions the country as a global leader in environmental policy within the agricultural sector.