Denmark’s bacon exports damaging environment: Greenpeace

An export agreement between meat producer Danish Crown and Chinese company Win-Chain, which will see the latter company take 250 tons of pork weekly over a five-year period, has irked climate campaigners in the Scandinavian country.

Denmark’s bacon exports damaging environment: Greenpeace
Danish Crown's factory in Ringsted, Zealand. File photo: LISELOTTE SABROE/Ritzau Scanpix)

The deal is set to earn Danish Crown 2.3 billion kroner, Ritzau reports.

Greenpeace agricultural policy advisor Kristian Sloth criticised the trade deal, citing
environmental impact.

“I’m very dejected. I’m embarrassed for my country,” Sloth said.

“Meat is the world’s least sustainable food product. It is the absolute worst thing you can produce, and we’re world champions of it in Denmark,” he continued.

“Our nature and environment must now suffer for the sake of meat for people in China. That’s insane,” he said.

Danish Crown opened a processing factory in Shanghai earlier this year. It is this facility which will process and package the meat for Chinese consumers.

Sloth called for political restrictions on market forces that could cause significant environmental harm.

He also said that a programme on green policy presented by the government last month failed to address pollution caused by pork production.

“You cannot blame Danish Crown, who are reaping the rewards as their entire apparatus allows,” he said.

“The agricultural sector has been given a free pass by the government. It is Danish politicians who are allowing our land to become an ammonia puddle,” he said, also calling Denmark “a real ‘oink-oink’ country” and “the world’s meat factory”.

“There is no excuse for this, if you consider the climate crisis we are facing,” he said.

Sloth cited a study from Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research which found that plant-based agriculture has the capacity to feed three to four times as many people as meat.

“Danish politicians must cut down on the number of animals in Denmark. That would have an immediate effect in climate impact,” he said.

READ ALSO: Danish government boosts electric cars, puts out fireplaces in extensive climate plan


Sweden to set world’s first consumption-based emissions target

Sweden political parties have unanimously backed the world's first consumption-based emissions target, with the country aiming to hit net zero by 2045.

Sweden to set world's first consumption-based emissions target

The committee responsible for setting Sweden’s environmental goals on Thursday presented its proposals for what goals Sweden should set for greenhouse has emissions linked to the country’s consumption. 

“No other country in the world has done what we have done,” Emma Nohrén, chair of the climate goals committee, said at a press conference announcing the goals. “There has been a pioneering sprit.” 

About 60 percent of the emissions caused by people living in Sweden are released in other countries producing goods to be consumed in Sweden, meaning Sweden’s production-based emissions goals, like those of other countries, arguably misrepresent Sweden’s impact.  

In a press statement, the government said that as well as the 2045 consumption emissions target, the committee has suggested setting targets for the climate impact of its exports, include emissions from flights and cargo ships in its long-term national climate goals, and aim to include emissions from internal flights in its target for domestic transport by 2030.  

The committee also proposes that emissions from goods and services ordered by the public sector should decline at a faster rate than those of the rest of the country. 

Amanda Palmstierna, an MP for the Green Party who sits on the committee, said it was positive that the new goals had the backing of all seven of Sweden’s parliamentary parties. 

“It’s important that all the parties are backing this proposal so that it can become implemented,” she said. “Significant action is required now. We have so little time, as we saw in the IPCC report which came out on Monday.”