Denmark Becomes First to Levy CO2 Emissions Agriculture Tax

Denmark is about to become the first nation globally to impose a carbon dioxide tax on emissions in the agricultural sector, mainly centered on livestock. This comes after numerous negotiations among different stakeholders, the main objective being to considerably decrease greenhouse-gas emissions.

The government came to an agreement with industry, farmers, labor unions and environmental groups on policies associated with agriculture. The tax to be imposed aligns with the nation’s objective of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by 70%.

In general, the policy is expected to decrease CO2 emissions by 1.8 million tons in 2030.

Australian National University professor Mark Howden stated that the world could not afford to ignore emissions from the agricultural sector any longer. Howden noted that financial incentives such as the tax could help make it easier for such initiatives to be implemented at scale. This tax shall be implemented by 2030 and gradually increase by 2035, with the government revealing that monies generated shall be used to support the green transition by the country’s farming sector.

Denmark, which is known for its dairy and pork exports, hopes to inspire other countries to adopt similar initiatives.

In his statement, Jeppe Bruus, the country’s taxation minister, stated that Denmark would be the first nation to introduce a real CO2 tax on agriculture. The tax, which is yet to be approved by parliament, proposes a rate of 300 Danish Krones per ton of CO2 in 2030. This is equivalent to $43.16. This rate shall be increased to 750 Krones ($108) five years after implementation, with farmers also receiving a 60% income tax deduction.

Additionally, the government shall provide those with farm operation adjustments with subsidies. Stephanie Lose, minister for Economic Affairs, stated that the tax could increase the cost of minced beef in 2030 by about two krones ($0.29) a kilo.

Farmers in Denmark, despite having some concerns, view the government’s move as a feasible compromise for maintaining their businesses. In a statement, the L&F agriculture industry group recognized that this agreement brought clarity when it came to the farmers’ conditions.

The aforementioned agreement shall also establish a 40 billion Krone ($5.76bn) fund to protect nature, create wetlands and forests, and restore degraded ecosystems.

Maria Reumert Gjerding, president of the Danish Society for Nature Conservation, noted that this was a historic move that established a new direction on how land was used. This move by the Danish government also positions the European nation as a leader in international agricultural policy.

The decision by the Danish government to levy taxes on CO2 emissions from the agriculture sector shows how seriously authorities are beginning to take efforts to curb climate change. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) is no longer just academic talk, and entities such as First Tellurium Corp. (CSE: FTEL) (OTCQB: FSTTF) that take ESG seriously could stand to edge out competitors that aren’t adopting ESG as quickly.

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