Denmark wants to tax cow farts

cowThe latest climate-friendly tax being proposed in the Danish parliament focuses on the methane emissions that come from cattle when they break wind. The agricultural methane tax is certainly one of the more controversial measures currently being considered by the government.

The Tax Commission, which is behind the measure, estimates that each cow releases around four tonnes of methane each year simply by passing gas. In comparison, the average car emits just 2.7 tonnes of unwelcome emissions per year. Naturally, the Agriculture Council and many other groups have been lobbying hard against the new proposal.

Beef and dairy farmers estimate that the methane tax would increase the operating costs of Denmark’s agriculture industry by a whopping 2.7 billion kroner annually. Yet the methane tax would only provide the government’s coffers with 500 million kroner in tax per year, according to the JP news agency.

Denmark’s political parties are lining up on both sides of the issue, with the Danish People’s Party and the government’s Liberal Party both fearing the tax will increase prices of domestic produce. The Tax Commission, however, contends it’s a necessary step if Denmark is to meet its ambitious climate goals. It feels the agriculture industry should not be treated differently from any other industry over emissions.

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