Denmark set to impose world’s first carbon tax on gassy cows | EUROtoday

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Denmark is ready to impose the world’s first emissions tax on livestock starting in 2030, focusing on greenhouse gases emitted by the nation’s cows, pigs and sheep.

According to the plan, farmers would pay about $43 per metric ton of carbon dioxide equal produced by their livestock. That charge would improve to about $108 in 2035. The levies could be partially offset by a 60 p.c tax deduction, rendering them nearer to $17 per metric ton in 2030 and $43 in 2035, in line with the Danish authorities, which unveiled the proposed invoice this week.

Danish officers venture that the tax would lower the nation’s emissions by about 1.8 million metric tons (about 2 million tons) of carbon dioxide equal in 2030. Humans emitted greater than 40 billion tons of carbon dioxide in 2022, in line with the MIT Climate Portal.

“We will be the first country in the world to introduce a real [carbon dioxide equivalent tax] on agriculture. Other countries will be inspired by it,” Danish Tax Minister Jeppe Bruus stated in an announcement. “The agreement shows how much we can achieve when we come together across party colors and interests to find joint solutions to one of the greatest challenges of our time.”

The deal between the center-right authorities and representatives of teams together with farmers, the trade and unions was reached Monday, in line with the Associated Press. Farmers throughout Europe have, for months, been protesting cuts to subsidies and new laws, a few of them designed to cut back climate-changing emissions, The Washington Post reported.


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Proceeds from Denmark’s proposed tax — which is predicted to be accepted by the nation’s parliament, because it was written with broad assist — for 2030-31 shall be returned to the trade to assist its inexperienced transition, the federal government stated, with the dealing with of proceeds to be revisited in 2032. The invoice additionally consists of the institution of greater than 600,000 acres of recent forest areas, amongst different initiatives.

The tax is geared toward slashing emissions of methane, a greenhouse fuel that the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says should be diminished by 40 to 45 p.c by 2030, to cap international warming to 1.5 levels Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) this century.

The proposal was hailed by the Danish authorities as a method to meet its home local weather goal of decreasing greenhouse fuel emissions by 70 p.c from 1990 ranges by 2030.

Livestock is chargeable for about 32 p.c of human-caused methane emissions, in line with the United Nations. The 1.5 billion cattle world wide are the reason for most livestock-borne methane, the group stated — though Denmark had lower than 0.1 p.c of them, in line with 2022 figures compiled by Our World in Data. Brazil had a world-high 234 million cattle that yr, adopted by 194 million in India and the United States’ 92 million.

An analogous invoice to Denmark’s was into account by the earlier, center-left authorities of New Zealand, the place the agricultural sector is chargeable for half of its emissions — largely attributable to methane emitted from livestock after they burp. But that plan was axed this month by the nation’s new center-right authorities, partly attributable to pushback from cattle farmers.

New Zealand has proposed lowering methane from livestock by way of different strategies, corresponding to funding analysis targeted on creating a “methane vaccine” and a venture to breed lower-emissions cattle, in line with a authorities information launch.

The downside with such analysis is that it hasn’t reached a stage the place it’s cost-effective for farmers to make the most of “at current carbon prices,” stated Richard Eckard, a professor of carbon farming on the University of Melbourne in Australia.

But main multinational agricultural corporations have set targets for diminished emissions, which shall be a simpler mechanism over time to drive change on the farm degree “than a straight carbon tax,” he wrote in an e mail. This would imply “governments don’t need to be the bad guys” by levying carbon taxes that set off pushback from farmers, Eckard added.