Denmark: farmers agree to climate tax

Denmark's government has reached an agreement with major industry and environmental organisations on the introduction of a carbon tax on emissions from agriculture. Under the agreed legislation, which has yet to be passed by parliament, farmers will be taxed 300 Danish crowns (around 40 euros) per tonne of CO2 from 2030, increasing to 750 crowns by 2035. In return, they will benefit from higher tax deductions. The national press voices its approval.

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Der Nordschleswiger (DK) /

A victory for dialogue

The Nordschleswiger states:

Tractors blocked the roads in Germany last winter. In Denmark, the chairman of the farmers' association and the president of the nature conservation organisation stood peacefully side by side. ... It's unusual for an agricultural boss to publicly express satisfaction about a new tax, but Søndergaard has good reason to happy. After all, things could have been much worse for the farmers. He was clever enough to realise early on that the CO2 tax for agriculture was coming – whether or not he went along with it. A broad political majority is in favour of it. ... So it was clear to him that he could secure more for his members at the negotiating table than with a megaphone and tractor protest.”

Politiken (DK) /

High price for breaking a taboo

Politiken sees the farmers getting off a little too lightly:

“Something that nobody thought was realistic has now been achieved: Denmark is the first country in the world to introduce a CO2 tax in the agricultural sector. ... Will it solve all the problems? No. Even if the tax has broken a political taboo, it's obvious that a fairly moderate model has been agreed on. ... An economic sector that is already heavily subsidised will receive fresh billions in the course of a reform in which the agricultural sector itself should bear far more responsibility. The price for breaking a political taboo and securing a richer natural environment for Denmark has turned out to be disproportionately high. ... But we must live with this price.”