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Cows, Sheep, and Pigs Face World’s First Carbon Tax in Denmark


Livestock farmers in Denmark have been warned the farts and burps from their cows, sheep, and pigs will be measured and taxed from 2030, the first country in the world to do so as it targets methane emissions.

AP reports the aim is to reduce Danish greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent from 1990 levels by 2030, said Taxation Minister Jeppe Bruus, with the winds of change specifically aimed at the agriculture industry.

As of 2030, Danish livestock farmers will face a punitive financial imposition of 300 kroner ($43) per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2030.

The tax will increase to 750 kroner ($108) by 2035. However, because of an income tax deduction of 60 percent, the actual cost per ton will start at 120 kroner ($17.3) and increase to 300 kroner by 2035.

“We will take a big step closer in becoming climate neutral in 2045,” Bruus said, adding Denmark “will be the first country in the world to introduce a real CO2 tax on agriculture” and hoped other countries would follow suit.

New Zealand had passed a similar law due to take effect in 2025 which sought to tackle all livestock emissions in what critics saw as a punishing new tax on farmers.

However, the legislation was removed after hefty criticism from farmers and a change of government at the 2023 election from a hard left-wing bloc led by former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to a center-right one

New Zealand said it would now exclude agriculture from its emissions trading scheme in favor of exploring other ways to reduce methane.

Denmark has given no explanation as to exactly how the measurements of farts and burps will be taken and measured for individual animals.